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´╗┐Title: Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Vol 3. No 5.
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 Vol 3. No 5." ***

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Transcriber's note: Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

       *       *       *       *       *



VOL. III. MAY, 1898. NO. 5.


 "No ladder needs the bird, but skies
    To situate its wings,
  Nor any leader's grim baton
    Arraigns it as it sings.
  The implements of bliss are few--
    As Jesus says of Him,
 'Come unto me,' the moiety
    That wafts the cherubim."

OH, Music! voice inspired of all our joys and sorrows, of all our hopes and
disappointments, to thee we turn for life, for strength and peace. The
choristers of Nature--the birds--are our teachers. How free, how vital, how
unconstrained! The bird drops into song and delicious tones as easily as he
drops from the bough through the air to the twig or ground. To learn of the
bird has been found to be a truthful means whereby children's attention and
interest may be held long enough to absorb the sense of intervals in pitch,
notation on the staff, and rythms.

In teaching a child, it is obvious that the desire to learn must be kept
widely awake, and heretofore black notes on five lines and four spaces,
with heiroglyphics at the beginning to denote clef, and figures to indicate
the rhythm of the notes, have never interested children. But now, color and
the bird with its egg for a note, telegraph wires for the staff, and
swinging the pulsing rhythm instead of beating the time, has charmed
children into accomplishment of sight singing and sweet purity of tone.
Formerly, and by the old method, this was a long and laborious task, barely
tolerated by the musical child and disliked by the little soul unawakened
thereby to its own silent music.

It may be questioned, what is the new method, and what its value? The
method is this: In recognizing tone, the finer and more sensitive musician
has realized that certain intervals of scale suggested to their minds or
reminded them of certain colors. Thus the Doh, the opening and closing tone
of the scale, the foundation and cap stone, suggested Red, which is the
strong, firm color of colors, and on the ethical side suggested Love, which
is the beginning and end, the Alpha and Omega of Life. This firmness and
strength is easy to recognize in the tune "America," where the tonic Doh is
so insistent, and colors the whole melody. "The Star-Spangled Banner" and
"Hail Columbia" are other strong examples.

The Dominant or fifth tone in the scale is clear and pure, which the blue
of heaven represents, and so also the quality of aspiration or exaltation
is sounded. This is joyously clear in the Palestrina "Victory," set to the
Easter hymn, "The strife is o'er the battle done."

The Mediant or third of the scale is peaceful and calm, and the color
Yellow is suggested, with its vital, radiating, sunshiny warmth and
comfort. The "O, rest in the Lord" from "Elijah" exemplifies this quality
of restful and peaceful assurance. Of the tones of the Dominant chord
besides the Soh which we have considered, the Ti or seventh interval is
full of irresolution and unrest, crying for completion in the strong and
resolute Doh. This unrest and yearning suggest the mixed color Magenta. The
quality is expressed in bits of an old English song entitled "Too Late."
The insistency of the seventh is felt in the strong measures with the
words, "oh let us in, oh, let us in."

The Ray or second of the scale which completes the Dominant chord is
rousing and expectant--quite in contrast to the eagerness and dispair of
the seventh. This second is represented by orange, the mixture of red and
yellow between which it stands being equally related to both, with the
expectancy born of trust and rest which the Mediant expresses, and the
rousing hopefulness which is the outcome of the firm strength and
conviction of the Doh. As a musical example take Pleyel's hymn set to the
words: "Children of the Heavenly King." In the remaining tones of the
sub-dominant chord Fah and Lah, we find Fah the fourth has a distinctively
leaning tendency, a solemnity which calls forth the direct opposite of the
seventh or Ti which yearns upward and cannot be otherwise satisfied, while
Fah is a downward leaning, a protective and even-solemnly grand, dependent
tone. We hear this in the dead march in "Saul," and the almost stern
reproach in the two measures of "Too late, too late, ye cannot enter now."
Fah's tonal qualities suggest the protective green.

Lah, or the sixth tone is expresive of tender sympathy, and unlike Fah, is
a variable tone which may turn upward or downward for rest. It is found
prominently in Minor music and is represented by the half mourning color of
lavender or violet. "By the sad sea-waves" is a good illustration of this
gentle wail.

While these emotional effects are certainly true, it may be well to remind
the reader that when modulation comes in, the character of the tones is
necessarily changed; just as the appearance and impression of an individual
will be modified and altered by change of surroundings. Consequently these
effects are strong only in the pure unmodulated key.

In awakening the musical sensibility of the child, we are rescuing it from
probable loss of appreciation for the noble, and true, and fine. This loss
is shown by such as are pleased with the trash of the "popular" tunes of a
day--tunes which express nothing worthy of the great gift of expression.
Music is life in all its moods and tenses, but we should be sensitive only
to that which is the expression of the best and most helpful.

Through the many percepts of sight of the birds which represent the
intervals of the scale, of touch in pasting the little colored discs on the
staff, of ear in singing the tones of the Doh bird, the Me bird, the Soh
bird, etc., the child finds the symbols and mechanics of musical notation
entrancing instead of tedious.

In teaching the rythms and value of notes the imagination is called upon in
marking off rooms instead of measures, and putting one or more bird eggs
into them, naming them with the time names and swinging the rythm with a
snap-tape measure.


  In charge of classes in Color Music and assistant teacher of Voice in The
  Mrs. John Vance Cheney School, Steinway Hall, Chicago.



  ONCE on a time an old red hen
    Went strutting around with pompous clucks,
    For she had little babies ten,
    A part of which were tiny ducks;
 "'Tis very rare that hens," said she,
   "Have baby ducks, as well as chicks;
  But I possess, as you can see,
    Of chickens four and ducklings six!"

  A season later, this old hen
    Appeared, still cackling of her luck,
  For though she boasted babies ten,
    Not one among them was a duck!
 "'Tis well," she murmured, brooding o'er
    The little chicks of fleecy down,
 "My babies now will stay ashore,
    And, consequently, cannot drown!"

  The following spring the old red hen
    Clucked just as proudly as of yore;
  But lo! her babies were ducklings ten,
    Instead of chickens, as before!
 "'Tis better," said the old red hen,
    As she surveyed her waddling brood,
 "A little water, now and then,
    Will surely do my darlings good!"

  But, oh! alas, how very sad!
    When gentle spring rolled round again,
  The eggs eventuated bad,
    And childless was the old red hen!
  Yet, patiently she bore her woe,
    And still she wore a cheerful air,
  And said: "'Tis best these things are so,
    For babies are a dreadful care!"

  I half suspect that many men,
    And many, many women too,
  Could learn a lesson from the hen,
    With foliage of vermilion hue.
  She ne'er presumed to take offence
    At any fate that might befall,
  But meekly bowed to Providence.--
    She was contented--that was all!
                 --EUGENE FIELD.



WHEN one knows six birds by sight or sound, it has been said, he is lost.
After that he cannot rest until he knows fifty, or a hundred, or two
hundred--in his back-door yard, or down in the orchard, or across the farm.
It is not easy to explain wherein lies the fascination of "naming the birds
without a gun." The humility of the scoffer, caught unawares, and taught
his first six before he knows it, is something pathetic and instructive.
Few mortals are proof against the charm--when once the first half-dozen are
conquered. The first three come easy. Most of us know the Crow--and the
Robin--and the Bluebird--and--and--the Sparrow--until we discover that
there are more than a dozen varieties of Sparrow, and perceive that this
common brown bird, hopping so cheerily in and out of the bushes, may be a
Song Sparrow or a Chipping Sparrow or a White-Throated or White-Crowned or
any one of the dozen--or even the Cocky English Sparrow, despised by
ornithologist and tyro alike. When to the Crow and Robin and Bluebird one
has added the Blackbird--both the Keel-tailed and the Redwing--and the
Meadow Lark or the Highhole, the charm begins to work. Armed with
opera-glass and bird book, the victim casts convention to the winds. He
stands in the full glare of the public highway, his glass focused on an
invisible spot, an object of ridicule to men and dogs. He crawls on his
hands and knees through underbrush, under barbed fences and over stone
walls. He sits by the hour waiting for a Vireo to come down from the
topmost branch within range of his glass. He forgets luncheon and
engagements. And what does he bring home? Certainly not the river and sky,
and seldom even a feather.

Books on birds, continues the _Boston Evening Transcript_, like good wine,
need no bush at this season of the year; the Golden-winged Woodpecker drums
announcement on every limb; the Redwing Blackbird gurgles and chuckles and
calls across the swamp; and the Lesser Sparrows and Bluebirds and Robins
wake the morning to the weaving of new song. The hand reaches out for the
familiar bird-book; that last note was a strange one. It is a new bird--or
merely one forgotten? The delight begins all over with the first Bluebird's
call, "a mere wandering voice in the air."

"The Department of Agriculture," Miss Merriam tells us, in her new book,
"Birds of Village and Field," "realizing the losses that often result from
the ignorant sacrifice of useful birds, constituted the Division of
Ornithology, now a part of the Biological Survey, a court of appeal where
accusations against the birds could be received and investigated. The
method used by the division is the final one--the examination of stomach
contents to prove the actual food of the birds. After the examination of
about eighty birds, the only one actually condemned to death is the English
Sparrow. Of all the accused Hawks, only three have been found guilty of the
charges made against them--the Goshawk, Cooper's, and the
Sharp-Shinned--while the rest are numbered among the best friends of the
fruit-grower and farmer."

[Illustration: SOUTH AMERICAN RHEA.]



SOUTH AMERICAN Rhea is the name by which this immense bird is known to
science. It is a native of South America, and is especially numerous along
the river Plata. Usually seen in pairs, it sometimes associates in flocks
of twenty or thirty, and even more have been seen together. Like all the
members of the family, it is a swift-footed and wary bird, but possesses so
little presence of mind that it becomes confused when threatened with
danger, runs aimlessly first in one direction and then in another, thus
giving time for the hunter to come up and shoot it, or bring it to the
ground with his bolas--a terrible weapon, consisting of a cord with a heavy
ball at each end, which is flung at the bird, and winds around its neck and
legs so as to entangle it.

For our knowledge of the Rhea and its habits, we are chiefly indebted to
Mr. Darwin, and we shall use his language in this account of the bird. He
says it is found also in Paraguay, but is not common. The birds generally
prefer running against the wind, yet, at the instant, they expand their
wings and, like a vessel, make all sail. "On one fine hot day I saw several
Ostriches enter a bed of tall rocks, where they squatted concealed till
nearly approached."

It is not generally known that Ostriches readily take to the water. Mr.
King says that at Patagonia and at Pont Valdez he saw these birds swimming
several times from island to island. They ran into the water both when
driven down to a point, and likewise of their own accord, when not

Natives readily distinguish, even at a distance, the male bird from the
female. The former is larger and darker colored, and has a larger head. It
emits a singular deep-toned hissing note. Darwin, when he first heard it,
thought it was made by some wild beast. It is such a sound that one cannot
tell whence it comes, nor from how far distant.

"When we were at Bahia Blanca, in the months of September and October, the
eggs of the Rhea were found in extraordinary numbers all over the country.
They either lie scattered singly, in which case they are never hatched, or
they are collected together into a hollow excavation which forms the nest.
Out of the four nests which I saw, three contained twenty-two eggs each,
and the fourth twenty-seven. The Gauchos unanimously affirm, and there is
no reason to doubt their statement, that the male bird alone hatches the
eggs, and that he for some time afterward, accompanies the young. The cock
while in the nest lies very close; I have myself almost ridden over one. It
is asserted that at such times they are occasionally fierce, and even
dangerous, and that they have been known to attack a man on horseback,
trying to kick and leap on him."

The skylight in the roof of the apartment in which two Ostriches were kept
in the Garden of Plants, Paris, having been broken, the glaziers were sent
to repair it, and in the course of their work let fall a piece of glass.
Not long after this the female Ostrich was taken ill, and died after an
hour or two in great agony. The body was opened, and the throat and stomach
were, found to have been dreadfully cut by the sharp corners of the glass
which she had swallowed. From the moment his companion died the male bird
had no rest; he appeared to be continually searching for something, and
daily wasted away. He was removed from the spot, in the hope that he would
forget his grief; he was even allowed more liberty, but in vain, and at
length he mourned himself to death.



I need'nt tell you I'm an Ostrich, for my picture speaks for itself. I'm a
native of South America, but members of my family have been caught and
taken to the United States, so you have seen some of them, probably, in a

We are swift-footed and wary birds, but unfortunately have no presence of
mind, so that when danger threatens us we become confused, run this way and
that way, till the hunter comes up and with gun or "bolas" brings us to the

If your legs and neck were as long as mine, and an Indian should fling
around you a cord with a ball at each end and get your legs all tangled up,
wouldn't you tumble to the ground, too? Of course you would. That is the
way they catch us with a "bolas."

I think we ought to be called "ship of the desert" as well as the camel,
for when the wind blows, we expand our great wings, and running against it,
like a vessel under full sail, go skimming along, happy as a bird, in

You can never see us do that unless you come to South America. In captivity
we act differently, you know. Maybe you have seen us, when in an inclosure,
holding our wings from our bodies and running up and down as though we were
being chased, appearing greatly alarmed. Well, that is all fun. We have to
do something to while the time away. Then, too, that is as near as we can
come to "sailing" as we did when wild and free.

You have heard so much about the mother-bird sitting on the nest, that I am
sure you will be interested in seeing a _father_ who broods the eggs and
hatches out the little ones. I have five wives. They all lay their eggs in
one and the same nest, which is a hollow pit scraped out by their feet, the
earth heaped up around to form a sort of wall. They lay the eggs, I have
said, sometimes thirty in a nest, and I--well, I do the rest.

We are dangerous fellows if disturbed when brooding; have been known to
attack a man on horseback, trying to kick and leap on him. Our kick is no
love-tap, let me tell you, but being so powerful we can easily kill a man.

When startled, or angry, we utter a kind of grunt as a warning; if it is
not heeded, we then hiss sharply, draw back our head, and get ready to




ABOUT sixty species of Warblers are known to ornithologists, no one of
which can be considered a great singer, but their several twitterings have
a small family resemblance. The Bay-breasted, which is also popularly
called Autumnal Warbler, breeds from northern New England and northern
Michigan northward, its nest being found in low, swampy woods, where there
is a mixture of evergreens, oak, birch, elm and other trees. It is compact,
cup-shaped, and usually placed in coniferous trees from five to fifteen or
even twenty feet above the ground. Fine shreds of bark, small twigs,
fibrous roots, and pine hair are used in its construction. Four eggs are
laid, which are white, with a bluish tinge, finely speckled on or round the
larger end with reddish-brown.

Comparatively little is known of the habits of this species. It passes in
spring and fall, on its way to the north, being sometimes abundant at both
seasons, but does not tarry long. In general habits, at all times, it
closely resembles other species of the genus. In Oxford County, Maine, says
Mr. Maynard, these birds are found in all the wooded sections of that
region, where they frequent the tops of tall trees. The species seems to be
confined during the building season to the region just north of the White
Mountains range.

Ridgway says: "Tanagers are splendid; Humming-birds are refulgent; other
kinds are brilliant, gaudy or magnificent, but Warblers alone are pretty in
the proper and full sense of that term. When the apple trees bloom, the
Warblers revel among the flowers, vieing in activity and in number with the
bees; now probing the recesses of a blossom for an insect which has
effected lodgment there, then darting to another, where, poised daintily
upon a slender twig, or suspended from it, he explores hastily but
carefully for another morsel. Every movement is the personification of
nervous activity, as if the time for their journey was short; and, indeed,
such appears to be the case, for two or three days at most suffice some
species in a single locality; a day spent in gleaning through the woods and
orchards of one neighborhood, with occasional brief siestas among the leafy
bowers, then the following night in continuous flight toward its northern
destination, is probably the history of every individual of the moving

 "Have you walked beneath the blossoms in the spring?
              In the spring?
  Beneath the apple blossoms in the spring?
      When the pink cascades are falling,
      And the silver brooklets bawling,
      And the Warbler bird soft calling,
              In the spring?"



THE superstitions of the peasant folk of any country are not only
interesting with thought, feeling, and belief, says an intelligent writer,
but through them much of the inner history of a people can often be traced.
Ireland is peculiarly rich in these forgivable vagaries about birds. They
often seem of a very savage and grewsome character, but as we come to know
that however grim-visaged the face of one confiding the weird assertion of
uncanny belief, that secretly the masses of the peasantry scout and flout
them all, save those of a tender and winsome character, we become
reconciled to it. Thus the quaint and weird things which might seem
unaccountable and often repulsive to us, have become, in lieu of book lore,
a folk and fireside lore, out of which endless entertainment is secured;
and underneath much of this there is a deep and earnest tenderness, such as
all hearts know, for many things without apparent reason, that grow into
life and ancestry, oft repeated homeside tale, beloved custom and that
mysterious hallowing which comes upon changeless places and objects to men.

Here are a few bird superstitions: If an Osprey be shot along any coast,
all the herring and mackerel will immediately disappear. If the
Hen-harrier, which only hunts by twilight, is missed from its accustomed
raptorial haunt, some evil spirit is said to be hovering about the
locality. When Water-ousels appear in the spring time in unusual numbers in
any unfrequented locality, it is a sign of abundance of fresh-water fish,
but also a token of the approach of malignant disease. On the west coast in
the early spring the poor fisherman watches early and late for the Gannet.
He calls it the Solan, or Swift-flying Goose. If it does not come his heart
sinks, for there will be no luck at fishing; but if great numbers wheel
about the headlands of the coast, plenty will smile in his cabin home that
year. Great numbers of Jay or Missel Thrushes feeding upon the berries of
the hawthorn betoken the approach of a very cold winter, and their
Grackle-like calls bring fear to the heart if the meal be low and the peat
be scant in the little tenants cabin. When the nest of the Thrush or Mavis
is built unusually high in the thorn-bush, this betokens a great calamity
to a neighborhood, for some distressing disturbance is under way among the
fairies, who in happy or friendly mood always see to it that these nests
are built near their haunts in the grasses, that they may more readily
enjoy the music of the thrush's songs. The crops of sweet singing
Blackbirds are supposed to hold the souls of those in purgatory until the
judgment day; and whenever the Blackbird's notes are particularly shrill,
these parched and burning souls are imploring for rain, which never fails
of coming in response to the bird cries for their relief. The Wicklow
mountains are notably the haunts of the Ring-Ousel or Mountain Stars.
Whenever, after singing his fine deep song, he hesitates for a time, and
then is heard to utter a loud, shrill and prolonged whistle, that night
every human that has heard it will remain behind barred doors; for that is
a true fairy call, and the "wea folk of Wicklow" are sure to congregate in
the mooonlit mountain hollows and "dance rings round their swate selves"
until dawn. Of course none of these dire calamities ever occur, but the
simple-minded folk continue to have faith in them, and the innocent birds
remain the supposed precursors of the, to them, mysterious misinterpreted
operations of nature.

[Illustration: BLACK-NECKED STILT.]



STILT would be a peculiarly appropriate name for this bird, with its
excessively long legs, were it less graceful and dignified in its walk,
moving on land with easy and measured tread, not in a "tremulous manner,"
says Col. Goss, as stated by some writers.

The Stilt is an inhabitant of temperate North America, from New Brunswick,
Maine, Minnesota and Oregon southward; south in winter to Peru, Brazil, and
West Indies. It is rare in the middle and western provinces, except
Florida, also along the Pacific coast; breeding in suitable localities and
in abundance in western Texas, southern Colorado, Utah, eastern Colorado,
and southern Oregon. Extensive as is the range of the Stilt, we wonder how
many of our readers have ever had the pleasure of seeing even a picture of
one. The specimen depicted in BIRDS is regarded by experts as about as
nearly perfect as art can produce. It will be observed that the eyes are
alive in expression, as, indeed, are those of all our specimens that have
appeared in recent numbers.

This slender wader inhabits the shores of bays, ponds, and swales where
scantily covered with short grasses. It swims buoyantly and gracefully, and
on land runs swiftly, with partially raised wings, readily tacking or
stopping in its chase after insect life. Its flight, says Goss, is not very
swift, but strong and steady, with sweeping strokes, legs fully extended
and head partially drawn back, after the manner of the Avocet, (see BIRDS,
Vol. II, p. 15), and like the latter, will often meet one a long distance
from its nest, scolding and threatening. At such times its legs are as
fully extended as its legs, the latter often dangling as it retreats.

The food of the Black-necked Stilt consists of insects, minute shell fish
and larvae, and various small forms of life.  The birds are social, usually
living and breeding in small flocks.

The nests of these birds--when placed on dry, sandy land--are slight
depressions worked out to fit the body; on wet lands they are upon bunches
or masses of vegetation. Eggs three or four, buff to brownish-olive,
irregularly but rather thickly splashed and spotted with blackish brown.



When the English Sparrow (see BIRDS, Vol. II, p. 208), was first introduced
into Canada, we are informed by Mr. Albert Webber, the city of Hamilton
provided for its protection by causing to be erected a large iron pole, on
which was set a huge box containing many apartments, the pole surrounded by
a circular iron railing. Each day during the winter a sheaf of oats was
attached to the pole. In a year or two the Sparrows became so numerous that
the authorities were obliged to abandon the project of contributing to the
support of the birds and left them to shift for themselves. They soon
found, however, that the little foreigners were quite independent of the
city fathers.

Indefatigable, persistent, industrious breeders--at once rebuilding their
nests, if destroyed by accident or otherwise--there is little hope of their
extermination, if such action should be desired in the future. Mr. Thomas
Goodearl, an observer of these birds in their nativity, predicts that the
English Sparrow will be the survivor--though not the fittest--of all
English birds.

C. C. M.



It was my cousin the TEAL who said he was not born to sing and look pretty
flitting among the trees, but was a useful bird, born to be "done brown"
and look pretty in a dish. Well, I am one of that kind, too.

_Pin-tail_, _Sprig-tail_, _Sharp-tail_, _Water Pheasant._ I am known by all
of these names, though people only use one at a time, I believe.

You will find us Pin-tails generally in fresh water. We move in very large
flocks, in company with our cousins the Mallards, feeding and traveling
with them for days. But when it comes to flying we distance them everytime.
Our flight is rapid and graceful, the most graceful, they say, of all the
Duck tribe.

Instead of a song we have a call note, a low plaintive whistle which we
repeat two or three times. It is easily imitated, and often, thinking a
companion calls us, we swim in the direction of the sound, when "bang" goes
a gun and over flops one or more _Pin-tails_.

We have other enemies beside man, and have to keep a sharp lookout all the
time. Way up north one day, a Fox stood on the borders of a lake and
watched a flock of Ducks feeding among the rushes. He was very hungry and
the sight of them made his mouth water.

"How can I get one of those fine, fat fellows for my dinner," he muttered,
and Mr. Fox, who is very cunning, you know, remained very quiet, while he
thought, and thought, and thought.

"Oh, I have it!" he presently exclaimed, and going to the windward of the
Ducks, set afloat a lot of dead rushes or grass, which drifted among the
flock, causing no alarm or suspicion whatever.

Then Mr. Fox, taking a bunch of grass in his mouth, slipped into the lake,
and with nothing but the tips of his ears and nose above the water, drifted
down among the rushes and the Ducks, too.

Such a squawking as there was, when Mr. Fox opened his red mouth, seized
the largest of the flock, and with a chuckle put back for the shore.

"Hm!" said he, after enjoying his dinner, "what stupid things Ducks are to
be sure."

A mean trick, wasn't it? Nobody but a Fox--or a man--would have thought of
such a thing. I'd rather be an innocent Duck than either of them though my
name is _Pin-tail_. Wouldn't you?

[Illustration: PIN-TAIL DUCK.]



ALL the Ducks are interesting, and few species of the feathered creation,
in shape, color, beauty, and general variety of appearance present more
that is attractive to the student of ornithology. Aside from their utility
as destroyers of much that is obnoxious to vegetation and useful animal
life, and as a desirable, if not indispensable, food for man, they possess
characteristics that render them interesting and instructive subjects for
investigation and study.

Among them this widely distributed fresh water Duck is one of the best
known. Its name describes it well. It is one of the first arrivals in the
spring. The Pintail haunts wet prairies, mud flats, and the edges of reedy,
grassy waters, feeding largely upon bulbous roots, tender shoots, insects
and their larvae, worms and snails, and, on its return in the fall, upon
various seeds, water plants, and grain. Acorns have been frequently taken
from the crops of these Ducks.

The Pintail, according to Goss, seldom dives, and it never does so while
feeding, but in searching in the water for its food immerses not only the
head but a large portion of the body. It is an odd sight to see a flock
thus tipped up and working their feet in the air, as if trying to stand
upon their heads. They move about with a graceful motion of the head, and
with tail partially erect, and upon the land step off with a dignity of
carriage as if impressed with the thought that they are no common Duck. In
flight they are very swift.

The nest of the Pintail is placed on low but dry, grassy land and not far
from water, usually under the shelter of a bush, and is a mere depression
in the ground, lined with grasses and down. There are from seven to ten
eggs, of pale green to olive buff, in form oval and ovate.

The habitat of the Pintail Duck is the northern hemisphere in general; in
North America it breeds from the northern United States northward to
Iceland and south in winter to Cuba and Panama.

Mr. George Northrup, of long experience on Calumet lake and river,
Illinois, says that only a few years ago there were to be seen on these
waters during the seasons of migration as many as a million, perhaps
millions, of Ducks, among which were multitudes of Pintails. He has seen
the lake so covered with them that there seemed to be no room whatever for
more, though others continued to alight. The hunters were delighted with
the great opportunities these vast flocks presented for slaughter--sport,
as they called it; mania, Mr. Northrup characterized it. He said the birds,
at the very earliest indication of day, hurried on swift wing to their
feeding grounds to get their breakfasts, where the sportsmen were usually
awaiting them.

The Pintail Duck is not regarded as so great a delicacy as the Canvasback,
the Red Head, or even the Mallard, yet when fat, young, and tender it is a
very palatable bird, and well esteemed for its flavor. The cook probably
has something to do with its acceptableness when served, for

  No Duck is bad when appetite
  Waits on digestion.



WAS the question which confronted the fair sex this year when about to
select their Easter hats or bonnets.

"Say flowers," pleaded the members of the Audubon Society, and from the
many fair heads, innocent of feather adornment, which bowed before the
lily-decked altars on Easter morning, one must believe that the plea was

Nearly every large house in Chicago, dealing wholly or in part in millinery
goods, was visited by a member of the Audubon Society, says the _Tribune_.
One man who sells nothing but millinery declared that the bird protective
association was nothing but a fad, and that it would soon be dead. He
further said he would sell anything for hat trimming, be it flesh, fish, or
fowl, that a _woman would wear_.

Touching the question whether the beautiful Terns and Gulls, with their
soft gray and white coloring, were to be popular, it was said that they
would not be used as much as formerly. One salesman said that he would try,
where a white bird was requested, to get the purchaser to accept a domestic
Pigeon, which was just as beautiful as the sea and lake birds named.

The milliners all agree that the Snowy Egret is doomed to extermination
within a short time, its plumes, so fairy-like in texture, rendering its
use for trimming as desirable in summer as in winter.

As to the birds of prey, people interested in our feathered friends are as
desirous of saving them from destruction as they are to shield the song
birds. There are only a few of the Hawks and Owls which are injurious, most
of them in fact being beneficial. Hundreds of thousands of these birds were
killed for fashion's sake last fall, so that this coming season the farmer
will note the absence of these birds by the increased number of rat, mouse,
and rabbit pests with which he will have to deal.

It is a matter of congratulation, then, to the members of the Audubon
Society to know that their efforts in Chicago have not been wholly
fruitless, inasmuch as the majority of dealers in women's headgear are
willing to confess that they have felt the effect of the bird protective

Dr. H. M. Wharton, pastor of Brantly Baptist Church, Baltimore, has always
been a bitter opponent of those who slaughter birds for millinery purposes.
"It is wholesale murder," said he, "and I am delighted that a bill is to be
offered in the Maryland legislature for the protection of song birds. I
have commented from the pulpit frequently upon the evil of women wearing
birds' wings or bodies of birds on their hats, for I have long considered
it a cruel custom."

"Birds are our brothers and sisters," said the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost
before the Unity Congregation at Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburg, a few
weeks ago. "If we are children of God, so are they. The same intelligence,
life, and love that is in us is in them. The difference between us is not
in kind, but in degree."

"How is this murderous vanity of women to be overcome?" asks _Our Animal
Friends_. "We confess we do not know; but this we do know, that good women
can make such displays of vanity disreputable, and that good women _ought
to do it_."



HERE we have a picture of the best, with possibly one exception, the
African Gray, of the talking parrots. Its home is in Mexico, about the
wooded bottoms of La Cruz river, in the province of Taumaulipas, on the
east coast. It is a wild, picturesque region of swamps, jungles, and
savannahs, with here and there a solitary hacienda or farm-house, where
three hundred or four hundred persons are at work in the fertile soil.
Here, three hundred miles south of Matamoras, the nearest American
settlement, is the spot where your pet Parrot, says an exchange, probably
first opened its eyes to the light of day stealing through the branches of
the ebony and coma trees, amid surroundings that might to an imaginary
Polly suggest the first dawn of creation. The forests in this region abound
in all kinds of birds in rich plumage. Parrakeets are so abundant that what
with the screeching and cawing of the Parrots it is sometimes impossible to
hear one's own voice. Hunters do not trouble themselves to secure them,
however, as they are not worth carrying to market. There is apparently a
profit only in the Double Yellow-head, for which the hunters get as much as
$20.00. There are two kinds of Mexican Parrots, both of which are held in
far different esteem. The only Mexican Parrot that is in general demand as
a talking pet is the Double Yellow-head, which with age develops a yellow
hood that extends completely over its head and shoulders. In connection
with the "speaking" of Parrots, one of the most curious circumstances is
that recorded by Humboldt, who in South America met with a venerable bird
which remained the sole possessor of a literally dead language, the whole
tribe of Indians who alone had spoken it having become extinct.

The Parrot builds no nest. The female selects a deep hollow in the highest
tree trunk and there lays two eggs. This occurs about the first of May. The
young are hatched about the 15th of June, ten days elapse before they can
open their eyes, and several weeks must be allowed for the young birds to
outgrow their squab state and gain sufficient strength to be removed from
the care of their parents. The Parrot is a wily and wise bird. It lays its
eggs safely out of reach of ordinary danger and takes good care not to
betray their whereabouts. When the young birds are hatched they are fed
twice a day by their elders, early in the morning and again about the close
of day. The birds in feeding their young give vent to a series of contented
clucks and chuckles, which is answered by the young ones. These birds live
on mangoes and the nuts of the ebony tree.

Newton observes, that considering the abundance of Parrots both as species
and individuals, it is surprising how little is known of their habits in a
wild state.

It is probable that no other bird has been more admired or more thoroughly
execrated. If it is good natured, is an interesting talker, and you happen
to be in a mood to listen to it with some pleasure, you will speak
favorably of the bird, saying to it: "Pretty Polly! pretty Polly!" but
should your nerves be unstrung and every noise a source of irritation, the
rasping, high-pitched screech of a Parrot, which is a nuisance in any
neighborhood, will be beyond endurance. We shall always be satisfied with
the possession of Polly's picture as she was.



I came from Mexico. Once I talked Spanish, but at the present time I speak
the English language altogether. Lucky, isn't it? My neck might be wrung
did I cry "_Viva Espana!_" just now.

The reason why I spoke Spanish in Mexico was because I boarded with a
Spaniard there; now I live in the United States and make my home with an
American family. As I only repeat what I hear I must, of course, talk just
as they do.

I was born, however, in the finest Parrot country in the world. My mother
built her nest in a deep hollow in the highest tree trunk in a swamp or
jungle, and there laid just two eggs. She was wise to choose a high tree,
for there she thought her nest was out of danger.

When we were hatched, my brother and I, our parents fed us only twice a
day, in the early morning and late evening. Two meals a day was enough for
little babies, my mother said.

Well, maybe it was, but in our case it would have been better had she not
fed us at all. You see the Parrot hunters were about, and as my parents
always kept up such a loud "clucking" when feeding us, and we did the same,
why, the hunters found out in which tall tree we lived.

It was easy then for a "peon" or poor Mexican to climb the tree, and so all
of our family were made prisoners. Being Double Yellow-headed Parrots we
were very valuable because we can talk. My master paid $20.00 for me.

The gentleman who owns me now sells tickets in a theatre. My cage hangs
near the window, and I used to hear him say when there was a rush to buy
tickets, "One at a time, gentlemen; one at a time, please!" I hadn't
learned to speak English very well, then, but I heard the sentence so often
that I stored it up for future use.

My master, one day, went to the country and took me with him. The sight of
the trees made me think of my old home, so I escaped from the cage and flew
off to the woods.

They searched for me all day but not till nightfall did they find me. Such
a sorry looking bird as I was, sitting far out on the end of a limb of a
tree, with my back humped, and half the gay feathers plucked out of me.
Around me were a flock of Crows, picking at me whenever they got a chance.

"One at a time, gentlemen," I kept saying, hitching along the limb, "one at
a time, please;" but instead of tickets they each got a feather.




AND now there is such a fiddling in the woods, such a viol creaking of
bough on bough that you would think music was being born again as in the
days of Orpheus. Orpheus and Apollo are certainly there taking lessons;
aye, and the Jay and Blackbird, too, learn now where they stole their
"thunder." They are perforce, silent, meditating new strains.

*      *      *      *

Methinks I would share every creature's suffering for the sake of its
experience and joy. The Song Sparrow and the transient Fox-colored Sparrow,
have they brought me no message this year? Is not the coming of the
Fox-colored Sparrow something more earnest and significant than I have
dreamed of? Have I heard what this tiny passenger has to say while it flits
thus from tree to tree? God did not make this world in jest, no, nor in
indifference. These migratory Sparrows all bear messages that concern my
life. I love the birds and beasts because they are mythologically in
earnest. I see the Sparrow chirps, and flits, and sings adequately to the
great design of the universe, that man does not communicate with it,
understand its language, because he is not alone with nature. I reproach
myself because I have regarded with indifference the passage of the birds.
I have thought them no better than I.

*      *      *      *

I hear the note of a Bobolink concealed in the top of an apple tree behind
me. Though this bird's full strain is ordinarily somewhat trivial, this one
appears to be meditating a strain as yet unheard in meadow or orchard. He
is just touching the strings of his theorbo, his glassichord, his water
organ, and one or two notes globe themselves and fall in liquid bubbles
from his tuning throat. It is as if he touched his harp within a vase of
liquid melody, and when he lifted it out the notes fell like bubbles from
the trembling strings. Methinks they are the most liquidly sweet and
melodious sounds I ever heard. They are as refreshing to my ear as the
first distant tinkling and gurgling of a rill to a thirsty man. Oh, never
advance farther in your art; never let us hear your full strain, sir! But
away he launches, and the meadow is all bespattered with melody. Its notes
fall with the apple blossoms in the orchard. The very divinest part of his
strain drops from his overflowing breast _singultim_, in globes of melody.
It is the foretaste of such strains as never fell on mortal ears, to hear
which we should rush to our doors and contribute all that we possess and
are. Or it seemed as if in that vase full of melody some notes sphered
themselves, and from time to time bubbled up to the surface, and were with
difficulty repressed.




IN this number of BIRDS we present two very interesting specimens of the
family of Warblers, the Magnolia or Black and Yellow Warbler, ranking first
in elegance. Its habitat is eastern North America as far west as the base
of the Rocky Mountains. It breeds commonly in northern New England, New
York, Michigan, and northward. According to Mr. William Brewster it is
found everywhere common throughout the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Its favorite resorts are little clumps of firs and spruce shrubs, also
willow thickets near streams and ponds and other damp places. "Its gay
colors and sprightly song will at once attract the attention of even the
casual observer. The nest is usually placed in the horizontal twigs of a
fir or spruce at heights ranging from four to six feet, five being the
average elevation, and the favorite localities are the edges of wood paths,
clearings, or roads bordered by woods. Sometimes the nests are built in the
tops of young hemlocks ten or fifteen feet up, or in the heart of the
forest thirty-five feet above the ground."  Mr. Brewster describes the nest
as loosely put together, of fine twigs, preferredly hemlock, coarse grasses
and dry weed-stalks. The lining is fine black roots, closely resembling
horse-hair. The eggs are four, very rarely five, of creamy white, spotted
and blotched with various shades of reddish brown, hazel and chestnut. The
markings are generally large and well defined and often form wreaths about
the larger ends.

Ridgway mentions the Magnolia Warbler as "one of the most agile of its
tribe, its quick and restless movements being more like those of the
Redstart than those of its nearest kindred. The tail is carried somewhat
elevated and widely expanded, to display the broad white band across the
middle portion of the inner web of the feathers, which together with the
bold contrasts of black, yellow, and blue-gray of the plumage, render it
both conspicuous and beautiful."

Mr. Langille describes the song of the Magnolia Warbler as "a loud, clear
whistle, which may be imitated by the syllables _chee-to_, _chee-to_,
_chee-tee-ee_, uttered rapidly and ending in the falling inflection."



       "O little bird of restless wing,
    Why dost thou sing so sweet and loud?
  Why dost thou sing so strong and proud?
        Why dost thou sing?"

       "Oh I have drunk the wine of spring,
  My mate hath built a nest with me:
  My hope flames out in song," said he,
       "I can but sing."

[Illustration: MAGNOLIA WARBLER.]



  TO the deep woods
  They haste away, all as their fancy leads,
  Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;
  That nature's great command may be obeyed,
  Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive
  Indulged in vain. Some to the holly hedge
  Nestling, repair, and to the thicket, some;
  Some to the rude protection of the thorn
  Commit their feeble offspring; the cleft tree
  Offers its kind concealment to a few,
  Their food its insects, and its moss their nests;
  Others apart, far in the grassy dale
  Or roughening waste their humble texture weave;
  But most in woodland solitudes delight,
  In unfrequented glooms or shaggy banks,
  Steep, and divided by a babbling brook,
  Whose murmurs soothe them all the livelong day,
  When by kind duty fixed. Among the roots
  Of hazel pendent o'er the plaintive stream,
  They frame the first foundation of their domes,
  Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,
  And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought
  But restless hurry through the busy air,
  Beat by unnumbered wings. The swallow sweeps
  The slimy pool, to build his hanging house
  Intent; and often from the careless back
  Of herds and flocks a thousand tugging bills
  Steal hair and wool; and oft when unobserved,
  Pluck from the barn a straw; till soft and warm,
  Clean and complete, their habitation grows.
  As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,
  Not to be tempted from her tender task
  Or by sharp hunger or by smooth delight,
  Though the whole loosened spring around her blows,
  Her sympathizing lover takes his stand
  High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless sings
  The tedious time away; or else supplies
  Her place a moment, while she suddenly flits
  To pick the scanty meal.
                     --JAMES THOMSON.



  Grotesque and tall, he stands erect,
    Where the reed-riffle swirls and gleams.
  Grave, melancholy, circumspect--
    A hermit of the streams.--ERNEST MCGAFFEY.

ERRONEOUSLY called Sandhill Crane or Blue Crane, by which names it is
better known than by its proper name, this bird is well known as one of the
most characteristic of North America, breeding, as it does, singly and in
colonies from the Arctic regions southward to the West Indies and South
America. In the warmer parts of the country it breeds in vast heronries in
company with other species of Herons, of which there are eleven or twelve,
to which places they resort year after year. It is a common bird, except in
localities far removed from streams or ponds which furnish its food supply.

This solitary and wary bird is usually seen standing in shallow water,
often in mid-stream, but it requires great caution and skill on the part of
the person who would observe its movements to get a view of him, as he
usually first sees the intruder, and startles him by his harsh squawking
cries as he flies from his feeding place.

The nests are placed in trees along rivers, usually the largest. They are
bulky structures of sticks on the highest branches, a dozen or more nests
sometimes being built in one tree. In localities destitute of trees the
nests are built on rocks. Sycamore trees are favorite resorts of these
birds, the light color of the limbs and the peculiar tint of the foliage
harmonizing so well with their plumage as to render their presence
difficult of detection.

The Heron's food consists of fishes, frogs, crawfish, and the like, large
quantities of which must be sacrificed to appease its voracious appetite,
as many as ten good-sized fishes having been disgorged at one time by a
Heron that was in haste to get away, a happy provision of nature which
often enables this family of birds to escape from the squirrel hunters and
irresponsible gun-carriers.

The eggs of this species are plain greenish-blue and three or four in
number. The young are without plumes, which develop gradually with

Dr. Neill mentions a curious instance of the Heron feeding on young
Water-hens. A large old willow tree has fallen down into the pond, and at
the extremity, which is partly sunk in the sludge and continues to
vegetate, Water-hens breed. The old male Heron swims out to the nest and
takes the young if he can. He has to swim ten or twelve feet, where the
water is between two and three feet deep. His motion through the water is
slow, but his carriage stately. He has been seen to fell a rat at one blow
on the back of the head, when the rat was munching at his dish of fish.

While the Heron stands on the water's edge, it remains still as if carved
out of rock, with its neck retracted, and its head resting between the
shoulders. In this attitude its sober plumage and total stillness render it
very inconspicuous, and as it prefers to stand under the shadow of a tree,
bush, or bank, it cannot be seen except by a practiced eye, in spite of its
large size.

The flight of the Heron is grand and stately. The head, body, and legs are
held in a line, stiff and immovable, and the gently waving wings carry the
bird through the air with a rapidity that seems the effect of magic.

[Illustration: GREAT BLUE HERON.]



I belong to a family that is fast disappearing, simply because my plumes
are pretty. The ladies must have them to trim their hats and bonnets, so
the plume hunters visit our "rookeries" when our mates are on their nest,
and kill hundreds and hundreds of us.

Our nests are great flat, bulky affairs, made of sticks and lined with
grasses. We build them in high trees along the rivers, or way back in the
swamps, a dozen or more in one tree.

We "go fishing" every day; but not for sport as you boys do. No, indeed, we
must get a catch or go hungry. Our long bills are better than a hook and
line, and our long legs enable us to wade in the water without getting our
clothes--feathers, I mean,--wet. Fish, frogs, and crawfish make up our
diet, and as we have very healthy appetites it takes a great many of them
to make a meal.

Like some other birds I have more than one name. _Blue Crane_, _Little
Blue_, _Little Crane_, _Skimmer_, and _Scissorsbill_. Some people call me
"gawky." Is that a name, too?

To see us standing on one foot, by the margin of a stream, the very picture
of loneliness, you would little imagine what gay birds we are just before
the mating season in the spring.

In order to show off our best points before the lady-birds, off we all go
to some secluded spot, form a circle or ring, in which each male bird in
turn performs his showing off act. We skip, flap our wings, curve our
necks, and prance around, the lady-birds expressing their approval by deep
croaks, something like a bull-frog's, while the envious cocks keep up a
running fire of remarks in the rasping tones of a horse-fiddle.

Each performer when his act is done, resumes his place in the circle, and
so it goes on, till every male has displayed his accomplishments and good
looks before the lady-birds. Then we return to our feeding grounds, and
nose around in the water for our supper.

It does sound odd to hear a bird of my size talk about flying, doesn't it?
But in truth my body is very light, weighing between four and five pounds.
I am long from bill to tail, and my wings are very long and curving.

My legs? Oh that is a matter I dislike to talk about. They certainly speak
for themselves.



A YOUNG Oriole was rescued from the water where it had evidently just
fallen from the nest. When taken home it proved a ready pet and was given
full freedom of the place. Some weeks later a nestling from another brood
was placed in the same cage with the other. The newcomer had not yet
learned to feed himself, and like a baby as it was, cried incessantly for
food. The first captive though but a fledgling himself, proceeded to feed
the orphan with all the tender solicitude of a parent.

"It was irresistably cunning and heartsome, too," says the narrator, W. L.
Dawson, in the _Bulletin_, "to see the bird select with thoughtful kindness
a morsel of food and hop over toward the clamoring stranger and drop it in
his mouth, looking at it afterward with an air as much as to say, 'there,
baby, how did you like that?' This trait was not shown by a chance
exhibition, but became a regular habit, and was still followed when the
older bird had attained to fly catching. It upset all ones notions about
instinct and made one think of a Golden Rule for birds."



The following remarkable instance of the communication of ideas among the
lower animals is narrated by the Rev. C. Otway:

"At the flour mills of Tubberakeena, near Clonmel, while in the possession
of the late Mr. Newbold, there was a Goose, which by some accident was left
solitary, without mate or offspring, gander or goslings. Now it happened,
as is common, that the miller's wife had set a number of Duck eggs under a
hen, which in due time were incubated; and of course the ducklings, as soon
as they came forth, ran with natural instinct to the water, and the hen was
in a sad pucker--her maternity urging her to follow the brood, and her
instinct disposing her to keep on dry land.

"In the meanwhile, up sailed the Goose, and with a noisy gabble, which
certainly (being interpreted) meant, 'Leave them to my care,' she swam up
and down with the ducklings, and when they were tired with their aquatic
excursion, she consigned them to the care of the hen.

"The next morning, down came again the ducklings to the pond, and there was
the Goose waiting for them, and there stood the hen in her great
flustration. On this occasion we are not at all sure that the Goose invited
the hen, observing her maternal trouble; but it is a fact that she being
near the shore, the hen jumped on her back, and there sat, the ducklings
swimming and the Goose and hen after them, up and down the pond.

"This was not a solitary event; day after day the hen was seen on board the
Goose, attending the ducklings up and down, in perfect contentedness and
good humor--numbers of people coming to witness the circumstance, which
continued until the ducklings, coming to days of discretion, required no
longer the joint guardianship of the Goose and Hen."--_Witness._

[Illustration: EGGS.]

  1. Great Crested Fly-catcher.
  2. King Bird.
  3. Night Hawk.
  4. Crow.
  5. Red-headed Woodpecker.
  6. Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
  7. Audubon's Caracara.
  8. Black-billed Magpie.
  9. Kingfisher.
  10. Screech Owl.
  11. Turkey Vulture.
  12. Gamble's Partridge.
  13. Bob White.




  Under the eaves in an old tin pot,
    Six little birds lie in a nest;
  The mother bird broods them with her wings,
    And her downy-feathered breast.
  With "coos" and "chirps" she tells her love
    As human mothers do,
  Says "tootsy, wootsy, mammy's dove,
    And papa's tootsy, too."

Pierre gazed after Bridget with a perplexed look.

"A-a-what?" he inquired: "I never heard that word before."

"Oh, you did'nt," returned Henry with a wise air, "if I'm not mistaken a
Hornithologist has reference to a Horned Owl. Has it not, Mama?"

"It might if there were such a word," she replied, with a laugh. "Bridget
meant an Ornithologist, the scientific name for students of birds and their
ways. But come, Mrs. Wren shows signs of uneasiness; we must not disturb
her again to-day."

"I'm truly glad they are gone," said Mrs. Wren, as her spouse flew over to
the tin pot. "It makes me very nervous when they all stand about and stare
at me so."

"Of course it does," sympathizingly replied Mr. Wren, "but now, let me get
another peep at the little darling. My, what a lovely little creature it
is?" and Mr. Wren whisked his tail and chirped to the baby in a truly
papa-like fashion.

"And to think that moon-faced Bridget said it was the 'skinniest, ugliest
little baste she iver saw'," indignantly returned Mrs. Wren, mimicking
Bridget's brogue to perfection. "The precious little thing?" turning the
birdling over with her bill, "why, he is the very image of his father."

"Do you think so?" a little doubtfully, "It seems to me that--that----"

"Oh, you will see when his hair, or rather feathers grow out and his lovely
black eyes open. Just look at his dear little tootsy-wootsy's," kissing the
long scrawny toes, "my, how glad I am that the eldest is a boy. Little
Dorothy will have a brother to protect her, you know."

"Don't count your chickens before they are hatched, my dear," warned Mr.
Wren, never forgetful of the many dangers surrounding a nest full of eggs,
or young birds. "Mr. Jay, or Mr. Owl, or Mr. Hawk, might yet pay us a visit

"Or a collector might come along," said Mrs. Wren, "and carry off eggs,
birdling, and all. Oh how that thought frightens me," and the poor little
mother cowered deeper down in the nest uttering a plaintive, shuddering

"There, there!" said Mr. Wren, caressing her with his bill, "time enough to
cross the stream when we come to it. Our landlord will protect his tenants,
I am sure, so sit here and croon a lullaby to the baby while I go to
market. I heard of a place yesterday where I can get some of those
delicious thousand legs of which you are so fond. Ta, ta, love," and away
he flew, fully alive to the fact of another mouth in the home-nest to feed.

Every day for six, a little yellow bill pecked its way out of the shell,
and every day a delighted and curious group of children peeked into the
tin-pot at the nervous Mrs. Wren and her family.

"Their eyes look so big, and so do their mouths," she lamented after one of
these visits. "I am always reminded of that story our landlady one
afternoon told the children."

"What story?" tenderly inquired Mr. Wren.

"Of the wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. Ugh! imagine anything eating up
our dear little Dorothy!" and Mrs. Wren stood on her feet, fluffed her
feathers in a pretty motherly way and gathered her brood more closely under

Very little time, now, had Mr. Wren to spare for singing or flying about
with his neighbors, so occupied were he and Mrs. Wren in providing food for
their family.

"There is precious little fun in this sort of thing," growled he one day
when paying a brief visit to Mr. John and his spouse. "One can never go
near the nest but open fly six red mouths asking for food. Its peep, peep,
peep, from morning till night; hurry, hurry, hurry, eat and bring up again;
to cram, cram, cram down six long, red throats the whole day long. There
are some days," with a sigh, "when I really long to be a bachelor again."

"Oh, you do," said Mrs. John, with a meaning glance at her husband, "There
are other fathers of families, I dare say, Mr. Wren, who, if they _dared_
would say the same thing. But," smoothing her apron, "you have such a
shiftless creature for a wife that I don't much wonder. Jenny, I presume,
stays at home and lets you do all the fetching and carrying."

"Indeed," replied Mr. Wren, who wished he had not complained at all, "you
are very much mistaken, Mrs. John. Jenny can find more grubs, worms, and
beetles in one minute than I can in ten. She is always on the go, and
seldom complains, though I must admit she does a deal of scolding."

"She wouldn't be a member of _our_ family if she didn't," proudly said Mrs.
John, "my mother----" but Mr. Wren, who had heard that story a score of
times, suddenly remembered Mrs. Jenny would be expecting him at home, said
"good-by" and hastily flew away.

Pierre, the first born, was now old enough to fly, but timidly stayed in
the nest. Mrs. Wren noted with great anxiety that no sooner did she leave
the tin-pot but up popped six little heads, and out upon a curious world
gazed twelve little bead-like eyes.

"Do be good children while I am gone," she would entreat, when ready for
market, "do keep your heads inside of the house. Pierre, put your head down
in the nest instantly, do you hear me!" and little Mrs. Wren would stand on
the edge of the tin-pot and fussily cry _krup_, _up_, _up_, which in Wren
language means, you naughty, naughty, birds.

"I think I am big enough to get out of here," said Pierre one day as he
watched her fly away, "bugs and worms must taste a heap better fresh from
the ground. I'm tired of baby-food, I am."

"So am I," piped Emmett, "you try your wings first, Pierre, and if you can
fly I will come after."

"Well, here goes," said Pierre, poising himself on the rim of the pot as he
had seen his parents do, "watch me, boys, watch me fly."

"Well, we are watching you," they chorused, as he spread his wings and
flapped them a number of times, "why don't you go?"

"I--I--" stammered Pierre, "oh, there's a cat!" and into the pot he darted
and down they all huddled like so many frightened mice.

Presently Bobbie raised his head and peeped out.

"I don't see any cat," said he, "and I don't believe you did, either,
Pierre. You were only afraid to fly."

Pierre looked a little sheepish.

"If you fellows think it so easy, try it," was the mocking reply. "There is
nobody here to hinder you."

"Well, I will," said Bobbie stoutly, and out he crawled onto the edge of
the pot, spread his wings, and with one preparatory flap rose in the air
and down he came with a frightened "peep" to the ground.

Bridget at this moment, broom in hand, came out upon the porch to do her
daily sweeping.

"It's lucky for ye's, me darlint," said she, tenderly picking up the
helpless bird, "that we do be havin' no cats for tinents on these premises,
so it is. A purty soft thing ye's now are in your coat of feathers, and not
an ugly little baste, at all, at all."

"It's quare," she continued, stroking the bird with her big red fingers,
"what idees the innocent crather do be puttin' into me head for sure. Me
hand, for insthance, and the wings ov this little bird! Two wonderful
things, when wan comes to think of it, and very useful. It's sorra crathers
we'd both be without 'em, wudn't we, birdie? There now," placing it in the
pot, "take an owld woman's advice and don't ye's be so anxious after
leavin' the home nest. Its many a hard arned dollar, so it is, that Bridget
O'Flaherty wud give to get back to her own," and with visions before her
humid eyes, of Old Ireland and the tumble-down cottage in which she was
born, Bridget fell vigorously to sweeping.




Page 166.

SOUTH AMERICAN RHEA.--_Rhea americana._ Other name: "Ostrich."

RANGE--Paraguay and southern Brazil through the State of La Plata to

NEST--In the ground, dug by the female with her feet.

EGGS--Twenty and upwards.


Page 170.

BAY-BREASTED WARBLER.--_Dendroica castanea._ Other name: "Autumnal

RANGE--Eastern North America, westward to Hudson Bay; south in winter to
Central America.

NEST--Of fine shreds of bark, small twigs, roots, and pine hair.

EGGS--Four, white, with bluish tinge, finely speckled on or round the
larger end.


Page 174.

BLACK-NECKED STILT.--_Himantopus mexicanus._ Other names: "Lawyer," "Long
Shanks," "Pink-Stockings."

RANGE--The whole of temperate North America, middle America, and northern
South America, south to Peru and Brazil; West Indies in general, and
Bermudas; north on the Atlantic coast to Maine. More generally distributed
and more abundant in the western than in the eastern province.

NEST--Small sticks and roots, in the grass on the margin of a lake or

EGGS--Three or four, greenish-yellow.


Page 178.

PINTAIL.--_Dafila acuta._ Other names: Sprig-tail; Spike-tail; Pike-tail;
Picket-tail; Pheasant Duck; Sea Pheasant; Water Pheasant; Long-neck.

RANGE--Nearly the entire northern hemisphere, breeding chiefly far
northward, in North America, migrating south in winter as far as Panama and

NEST--In tall bunches of prairie grass, seldom far from water.

EGGS--Eight or nine, of a dull grayish olive.


Page 183.

DOUBLE YELLOW-HEADED PARROT.--_Conurus mexicanus._

RANGE--Eastern coast of Mexico.

NEST--In holes of trees.



Page 187.

MAGNOLIA WARBLER.--_Dendroica maculosa._ Other name: "Black and Yellow

RANGE--Eastern North America, west to eastern base of Rocky Mountains;
winters in Bahamas, Cuba (rare), eastern Mexico and Central America.

NEST--Loosely put together, of fine twigs, coarse grasses, and dry
weed-stalks, lined with fine black roots resembling horse hair.

EGGS--Four, creamy white, spotted and blotched with various shades of
reddish-brown, hazel and chestnut.


Page 191.

GREAT BLUE HERON.--_Ardea herodias._ Other names: "Sand-hill Crane;" "Blue

RANGE--The whole of North and middle America, excepting Arctic districts;
north to Hudson's Bay, fur countries, and Sitka; south to Columbia,
Venezuela; Bermudas, and throughout the West Indies.

NEST--In high trees along rivers, or in the depths of retired swamps.

EGGS--Commonly three or four, of a plain greenish blue.

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