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Title: Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Vol 3. No 4.
Author: Various
Language: English
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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.

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


       *       *       *       *       *



BIRDS.

ILLUSTRATED BY COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY.



VOL. III. APRIL, 1898. NO. 4.



AVIARIES.



AN admirer of birds recently said to us: "Much is said of the brilliant
specimens which you have presented in your magazine, but I confess that
they have not been the most attractive to me. Many birds of no special
beauty of plumage seem to me far more interesting than those which have
little more than bright colors and a pretty song to recommend them to the
observer." He did not particularize, but a little reflection will readily
account for the justness of his opinion. Many plain birds have
characteristics which indicate considerable intelligence, and may be
watched and studied with continued and increasing interest. To get
sufficiently near to them in their native haunts for this purpose is seldom
practicable, hence the limited knowledge of individual naturalists, who are
often mere generalizers, and the necessity of the accumulated knowledge of
many patient students. In an aviary of sufficient size, in which there is
little or no interference with the natural habits of the birds, a vast
number of interesting facts may be obtained, and the birds themselves
suffer no harm, but are rather protected from it. Such an aviary is that of
Mr. J. W. Sefton, of San Diego, California. In a recent letter Mrs. Sefton
pleasantly writes of it for the benefit of readers of BIRDS. She says:

"My aviary is out in the grounds of our home. It is built almost entirely
of wire, protected only on the north and west by an open shed, under which
the birds sleep, build their nests and gather during the rains which we
occasionally have throughout the winter months. The building is forty feet
long, twenty feet wide, and at the center of the arch is seventeen feet
high. Running water trickles over rocks, affording the birds the
opportunity of bathing as they desire. There are forty-seven varieties of
birds and about four hundred specimens. The varieties include a great many
whose pictures have appeared in BIRDS: Quail, Partridge, Doves, Skylarks,
Starlings, Bobolinks, Robins, Blackbirds, Buntings, Grosbeaks, Blue
Mountain Lory, Cockateel, Rosellas, Grass Parrakeet, Java Sparrows,
Canaries, Nonpariels, Nightingales, Cardinals of North and South America,
and a large number of rare foreign Finches, indeed nearly every country of
the world has a representative in the aviary.

"We have hollow trees in which the birds of the Parrot family set up
housekeeping. They lay their eggs on the bottom of the hole, make no
pretention of building a nest, and sit three weeks. The young birds are
nearly as large as the parents, and are fully feathered and colored when
they crawl out of the home nest. We have been very successful, raising two
broods of Cockateel and one of Rosellas last season. They lay from four to
six round white eggs. We have a number of Bob White and California Quail.
Last season one pair of Bob Whites decided to go to housekeeping in some
brush in a corner, and the hen laid twenty-three eggs, while another pair
made their nest in the opposite corner and the hen laid nine eggs. After
sitting two weeks the hen with the nine eggs abandoned her nest, when the
male took her place upon the eggs, only leaving them for food and water,
and finally brought out six babies, two days after the other hen hatched
twenty-three little ones. For six days the six followed the lone cock
around the aviary, when three of them left him and went over to the others.
A few days later another little fellow abandoned him and took up with a
California Quail hen. The next day the poor fellow was alone, every chick
having deserted him. The last little one remained with his adopted mother
over two weeks, but at last he too went with the crowd. These birds seemed
just as happy as though they were unconfined to the limits of an aviary.

"We have had this aviary over two years and have raised a large number of
birds. All are healthy and happy, although they are out in the open both
day and night all the year round. Many persons, observant of the happiness
and security of our family of birds, have brought us their pets for
safe-keeping, being unwilling, after seeing the freedom which our birds
enjoy, to keep them longer confined in small cages.

"Around the fountain are calla lillies, flags, and other growing plants,
small trees are scattered about, and the merry whistles and sweet songs
testify to the perfect contentment of this happy family."

Yes, these birds are happy in _such_ confinement. They are actually
deprived of nothing but the opportunity to migrate. They have abundance of
food, are protected from predatory animals, Hawks, conscienceless hunters,
small boys, and nature herself, who destroys more of them than all other
instrumentalities combined. Under the snow lie the bodies of hundreds of
frozen birds whenever the winter has seemed unkind. A walk in the park,
just after the thaw in early March, revealed to us the remorselessness of
winter. They have no defense against the icy blast of a severe season. And
yet, how many escape its ruthlessness. On the first day of March we saw a
white-breasted Sparrow standing on the crust of snow by the roadside. When
we came up close to it it flew a few yards and alighted. As we again
approached, thinking to catch it, and extending our hand for the purpose,
it flew farther away, on apparently feeble wing. It was in need of food.
The whole earth seemed covered with snow, and where food might be found was
the problem the poor Sparrow was no doubt considering.

Yes, the birds are happy when nature is bountiful. And they are none the
less happy when man provides for them with humane tenderness. For two years
we devoted a large room--which we never thought of calling an aviary--to
the exclusive use of a beautiful pair of Hartz mountain Canaries. In that
short time they increased to the number of more than three dozen. All were
healthy; many of them sang with ecstacy, especially when the sun shone
brightly; in the warmth of the sun they would lie with wings raised and
seem to fairly revel in it; they would bathe once every day, sometimes
twice, and, like the English Sparrows and the barnyard fowl, they would
wallow in dry sand provided for them; they would recognize a call note and
become attentive to its meaning, take a seed from the hand or the lips,
derive infinite pleasure from any vegetable food of which they had long
been deprived; if a Sparrow Hawk, which they seemed to see instantly,
appeared at a great height they hastily took refuge in the darkest corner
of the room, venturing to the windows only after all danger seemed past; at
the first glimmering of dawn they twittered, preened, and sang a prodigious
welcome to the morn, and as the evening shades began to appear they became
as silent as midnight and put their little heads away under their delicate
yellow wings.

CHARLES C. MARBLE.


----

FOREIGN SONG BIRDS IN OREGON.

----

IN 1889 and 1892 the German Song Bird Society of Oregon introduced there
400 pairs of the following species of German song birds, to-wit: Song
Thrushes, Black Thrushes, Skylarks, Woodlarks, Goldfinches, Chaffinches,
Ziskins, Greenfinches, Bullfinches, Grossbeaks, Black Starlings, Robin
Redbreasts, Linnets, Singing Quails, Goldhammers, Linnets, Forest Finches,
and the plain and black headed Nightingales. The funds for defraying the
cost of importation and other incidental expenses, and for the keeping of
the birds through the winter, were subscribed by the citizens of Portland
and other localities in Oregon. To import the first lot cost about $1,400.
After the birds were received they were placed on exhibition at the
Exposition building for some days, and about $400 was realized, which was
applied toward the expense. Subsequently all the birds, with the exception
of the Sky and Wood Larks, were liberated near the City Park. The latter
birds were turned loose about the fields in the Willamette Valley.

When the second invoice of birds arrived it was late in the season, and Mr.
Frank Dekum caused a very large aviary to be built near his residence where
all the sweet little strangers were safely housed and cared for during the
winter. The birds were all liberated early in April. Up to that time
(Spring of 1893) the total cost of importing the birds amounted to $2,100.

Since these birds were given their liberty the most encouraging results
have followed. It is generally believed that the two varieties of
Nightingales have become extinct, as few survived the long trip and none
have since been seen. All the other varieties have multiplied with great
rapidity. This is true especially of the Skylarks. These birds rear from
two to four broods every season. Hundreds of them are seen in the fields
and meadows in and about East Portland, and their sweet songs are a source
of delight to every one. About Rooster Rock, twenty-five miles east of
Portland on the Columbia, great numbers are to be seen. In fact the whole
Willamette Valley from Portland to Roseburg is full of them, probably not
as plentiful as the Ring-neck Pheasant but plentiful enough for all
practical purposes. In and about the city these sweet little songsters are
in considerable abundance. A number of the Black Starling make their homes
about the high school building. The Woodlarks are also in evidence to a
pleasing extent.

There is a special State law in force for the protection of these imported
birds. They are all friends of the farmer, especially of the orchardists.
They are the tireless and unremitting enemy of every species of bug and
worm infesting vegetables, crops, fruit, etc.--S. H. GREENE, in _Forest and
Stream_.


----

BIRD SONGS OF MEMORY.

----

  Oh, surpassing all expression by the rhythmic use of words,
  Are the memories that gather of the singing of the birds;
  When as a child I listened to the Whipporwill at dark,
  And with the dawn awakened to the music of the lark.

  Then what a chorus wonderful when morning had begun!
  The very leaves it seemed to me were singing to the sun,
  And calling on the world asleep to waken and behold
  The king in glory coming forth along his path of gold.

  The crimson-fronted Linnet sang above the river's edge;
  The Finches from the evergreens, the Thrushes in the hedge;
  Each one as if a dozen songs were chorused in his own,
  And all the world were listening to him and him alone.

  In gladness sang the Bobolink upon ascending wing,
  With cheering voice the bird of blue, the pioneer of spring;
  The Oriole upon the elm with martial note and clear,
  While Martins twittered gaily by the cottage window near.

  Among the orchard trees were heard the Robin and the Wren,
  And the army of the Blackbirds along the marshy fen;
  The songsters in the meadow, and the Quail upon the wheat,
  And the Warbler's minor music, made the symphony complete.

  Beyond the towering chimneyd walls that daily meet my eyes
  I hold a vision beautiful, beneath the summer skies;
  Within the city's grim confines, above the roaring street,
  The _happy birds of memory_ are singing clear and sweet.
                              --GARRETT NEWKIRK.


[Illustration: OVEN BIRD.]



THE OVENBIRD.

----

NOW and then an observer has the somewhat rare pleasure of seeing this
Warbler (a trifle smaller than the English Sparrow) as he scratches away,
fowl fashion, for his food. He has more than one name, and is generally
known as the Golden-crowned Thrush, which name, it seems to us, is an
appropriate one, for by any one acquainted with the Thrush family he would
at once be recognized as of the genus. He has still other names, as the
Teacher, Wood Wagtail, and Golden-crowned Accentor.

This warbler is found nearly all over the United States, hence all the
American readers of BIRDS should be able to make its personal acquaintance.

Mr. Ridgway, in "Birds of Illinois," a book which should be especially
valued by the citizens of that state, has given so delightful an account of
the habits of the Golden-crown, that we may be forgiven for using a part of
it. He declares that it is one of the most generally distributed and
numerous birds of eastern North America, that it is almost certain to be
found in any piece of woodland, if not too wet, and its frequently repeated
song, which, in his opinion, is not musical, or otherwise particularly
attractive, but very sharp, clear, and emphatic, is often, especially
during noonday in midsummer, the only bird note to be heard.

You will generally see the Ovenbird upon the ground walking gracefully over
the dead leaves, or upon an old log, making occasional halts, during which
its body is tilted daintily up and down. Its ordinary note, a rather faint
but sharp _chip_, is prolonged into a chatter when one is chased by
another. The usual song is very clear and penetrating, but not musical, and
is well expressed by Burroughs as sounding like the words _Teacher,
teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher!_ the accent on the first syllable, and
each word uttered with increased force. Mr. Burroughs adds, however, that
it has a far rarer song, which it reserves for some nymph whom it meets in
the air. Mounting by easy flights to the top of the tallest tree, it
launches into the air with a sort of suspended, hovering flight, and bursts
into a perfect ecstacy of song, rivaling the Gold Finch's in vivacity and
the Linnet's in melody. Thus do observers differ. To many, no doubt, it is
one of the least disagreeable of noises. Col. Goss is a very enthusiastic
admirer of the song of this Warbler. Hear him: "Reader, if you wish to hear
this birds' love song in its fullest power, visit the deep woods in the
early summer, as the shades of night deepen and most of the diurnal birds
have retired, for it is then its lively, resonant voice falls upon the air
unbroken, save by the silvery flute-like song of the Wood Thrush; and if
your heart does not thrill with pleasure, it is dead to harmonious sounds."
What more has been said in prose of the song of the English Nightingale?

The nests of the Golden Crown are placed on the ground, usually in a
depression among leaves, and hidden in a low bush, log, or overhanging
roots; when in an open space roofed over, a dome-shaped structure made of
leaves, strippings from plants and grasses, with entrance on the side. The
eggs are from three to six, white or creamy white, glossy, spotted as a
rule rather sparingly over the surface. In shape it is like a Dutch oven,
hence the name of the bird.


----

ARCTIC THREE-TOED WOODPECKER.

----

Well, here I am, one of those "three-toed fellows," as the Red-bellied
Woodpecker called me in the February number of BIRDS. It is remarkable how
impolite some folks can be, and how anxious they are to talk about their
neighbors.

I don't deny I have only three toes, but why he should crow over the fact
of having four mystifies me. I can run up a tree, zig-zag fashion, just as
fast as he can, and play hide-and-seek around the trunk and among the
branches, too. Another toe wouldn't do me a bit of good. In fact it would
be in my way; a superfluity, so to speak.

In the eyes of those people who like red caps, and red clothes, I may not
be as handsome as some other Woodpeckers whose pictures you have seen, but
to my eye, the black coat I wear, and the white vest, and square,
saffron-yellow cap are just as handsome. The Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, who
sent their pictures to BIRDS in the March number, were funny looking
creatures, _I_ think, though they were dressed in such gay colors. The
feathers sticking out at the back of the heads made them look very comical,
just like a boy who had forgotten to comb his hair. Still they were spoken
of as "magnificent" birds. Dear, dear, there is no accounting for tastes.

Can I beat the drum with my bill, as the four-toed Woodpeckers do? Of
course I can. Some time if you little folks are in a school building in the
northern part of the United States, near a pine woods among the mountains,
a building with a nice tin water-pipe descending from the roof, you may
hear me give such a rattling roll on the pipe that any sleepy scholar, or
teacher, for that matter, will wake right up. Woodpeckers are not always
drumming for worms, let me tell you. Once in awhile we think a little music
would be very agreeable, so with our chisel-like bills for drum-sticks we
pound away on anything which we think will make a nice noise.


[Illustration: AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER.]



THE ARCTIC THREE-TOED WOODPECKER.

----

A GENERAL similarity of appearance is seen in the members of this family of
useful birds, and yet the dissimilarity in plumage is so marked in each
species that identification is easy from a picture once seen in BIRDS. This
Woodpecker is a resident of the north and is rarely, if ever, seen south of
the Great Lakes, although it is recorded that a specimen was seen on a
telegraph pole in Chicago a few years ago.

The Black-backed Three-toed Woodpecker--the common name of the Arctic--has
an extended distribution from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the
northern boundary of the United States northward to the Arctic regions. Its
favorite haunts are pine woods of mountainous country. In some portions of
northern New England it is a rare summer resident. Audubon says that it
occurs in northern Massachusetts, and in all portions of Maine covered by
tall trees, where it resides. It has been found as far south as northern
New York, and it is said to be a not uncommon resident in those parts of
Lewis county, New York, which pertain to the Canadian fauna; for it is
found both in the Adirondack region and in the coniferous forests in the
Tug Hill range. In the vicinity of Lake Tahoe and the summits of the Sierra
Nevada it is quite numerous in September at and above six thousand feet. It
is common in the mountains of Oregon and is a rare winter visitant to the
extreme northern portion of Illinois.

Observation of the habits of this Woodpecker is necessarily limited, as the
bird is not often seen within the regions where it might be studied. Enough
is known on the subject, however, to enable us to say that they are similar
to those of the Woodpeckers of the states. They excavate their holes in the
dead young pine trees at a height from the ground of five or six feet, in
this respect differing from their cousins, who make their nests at a much
greater height. In the nests are deposited from four to six pure
ivory-white eggs.

We suggest that the reader, if he has not already done so, read the
biographies and study the pictures of the representatives of this family
that have appeared in this magazine. To us they are interesting and
instructive beyond comparison, with the majority of other feathered factors
in creation, and present an exceedingly attractive study to those who
delight in natural history. They are not singing birds, and therefore do
not "furnish forth music to enraptured ears," but their agreeable call and
love notes, their tenor drum-beats, their fearless presence near the
habitations of man, winter and summer, their usefulness to man in the
destruction of insect pests, their comparative harmlessness (for they
cannot be denied subsistence), all prove that they should be ever welcome
companions of him who was given dominion over the beasts of the field and
the birds of the air.

In city parks where there are many trees, bushes, and thick shrubbery, a
good many birds may be seen and heard near the middle of March. Today, the
22nd of the month, in a morning stroll, we saw and heard the Song Sparrow,
a Blue Bird, a Robin, and two Bluejays, and would, no doubt, have been
gratified with the presence of other early migrants, had the weather been
more propitious. The sun was obscured by clouds, a raw north wind was
blowing, and rain, with threatened snow flurries, awakened the protective
instinct of the songsters and kept them concealed. But now, these April
mornings, if you incline to early rising, you may hear quite a concert, and
one worth attending.

--C. C. M.


----

IRISH BIRD SUPERSTITIONS.

----

THE HEDGEWARBLER, known more popularly as the "Irish Nightingale," is the
object of a most tender superstition. By day it is a roystering fellow
enough, almost as impish as our American Mocking Bird, in its emulative
attempts to demonstrate its ability to outsing the original songs of any
feathered melodist that ventures near its haunts among the reeds by the
murmuring streams. But when it sings at night, and particularly at the
exact hour of midnight, its plaintive and tender notes are no less than the
voices of babes that thus return from the spirit land to soothe their poor,
heart-aching mothers for the great loss of their darlings. The hapless
little Hedge Sparrow has great trouble in raising any young at all, as its
beautiful bluish-green eggs when strung above the hob are in certain
localities regarded as a potent charm against divers witch spells,
especially those which gain an entrance to the cabin through the wide
chimney. On the contrary, the grayish-white and brown-mottled eggs of the
Wag-tail are never molested, as the grotesque motion of the tail of this
tiny attendant of the herds has gained for it the uncanny reputation and
name of the Devil's bird.


THE STARLING, THE MAGPIE, AND THE CROW.

When the Starling does not follow the grazing cattle some witch charm has
been put upon them. The Magpie, as with the ancient Greeks, is the
repository of the soul of an evil-minded and gossiping woman. A round-tower
or castle ruin unfrequented by Jackdaws is certainly haunted. The "curse of
the crows" is quite as malevolent as the "curse of Cromwell." When a
"Praheen Cark" or Hen Crow is found in the solitudes of mountain glens,
away from human habitations, it assuredly possesses the wandering soul of
an impenitent sinner. If a Raven hover near a herd of cattle or sheep, a
withering blight has already been set upon the animals, hence the song of
the bard Benean regarding the rights of the kings of Cashel 1,400 years ago
that a certain tributary province should present the king yearly "a
thousand goodly cows, not the cows of Ravens." The Waxwing, the beautiful
_Incendiara avis_ of Pliny, whose breeding haunts have never yet been
discovered by man, are the torches of the _Bean-sidhe_, or Banshees. When
the Cuckoo utters her first note in the spring, if you chance to hear it,
you will find under your right foot a white hair; and if you keep this
about your person, the first name you thereafter hear will be that of your
future husband or wife.


FOUR MOURNFUL SUPERSTITIONS.

Four other birds provide extremely mournful and pathetic superstitions. The
Linnet pours forth the most melancholy song of all Irish birds, and I have
seen honest-hearted peasants affected by it to tears. On inquiry I found
the secret cause to be the belief that its notes voiced the plaints of some
unhappy soul in the spirit land. The changeless and interminable chant of
the Yellow Bunting is the subject of a very singular superstition. Its
notes, begun each afternoon at the precise hour of 3, are regarded as
summons to prayer for souls not yet relieved from purgatorial penance. A
variety of Finch has notes which resemble what is called the "Bride-groom's
song" of unutterable dolor for a lost bride--a legend of superstition
easily traceable to the German Hartz mountain peasantry; while in the
solemn intensity of the Bittern's sad and plaintive boom, still a
universally received token of spirit-warning, can be recognized the origin
of the mournful cries of the wailing Banshee.


[Illustration: BARTRAMIAN SANDPIPER.]



THE BARTRAMIAN SANDPIPER.

----

THIS pretty shore bird, known as Bartram's Tattler, is found in more or
less abundance all over the United States, but is rarely seen west of the
Rocky Mountains. It usually breeds from the middle districts--Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas northward, into the fur
country, and in Alaska. It is very numerous in the prairies of the
interior, and is also common eastward. It has a variety of names, being
called Field Plover, Upland Plover, Grass Plover, Prairie Pigeon, and
Prairie Snipe. It is one of the most familiar birds on the dry, open
prairies of Manitoba, where it is known as the "Quaily," from its soft,
mellow note. The bird is less aquatic than most of the other Sandpipers, of
which there are about twenty-five species, and is seldom seen along the
banks of streams, its favorite resorts being old pastures, upland, stubble
fields, and meadows, where its nest may be found in a rather deep
depression in the ground, with a few grass blades for lining. The eggs are
of a pale clay or buff, thickly spotted with umber and yellowish-brown;
usually four in number.

The Sandpiper frequently alights on trees or fences, like the Meadow Lark.
This species is far more abundant on the plains of the Missouri river
region than in any other section of our country. It is found on the high
dry plains anywhere, and when fat, as it generally is, from the abundance
of its favorite food, the grasshopper, is one of the most delicious
imaginable.



----

Marshall Saunders tells us that in Scotland seven thousand children were
carefully trained in kindness to each other and to dumb animals.

It is claimed that not one of these in after years was ever tried for any
criminal offense in any court. How does that argue for humane education? Is
not this heart training of our boys and girls one which ought to claim the
deepest sympathy and most ready support from us when we think of what it
means to our future civilization? "A brutalized child," says this
great-hearted woman, "is a lost child." And surely in _permitting_ any act
of cruelty on the part of our children, we brutalize them, and as teachers
and parents are responsible for the result of our neglect in failing to
teach them the golden rule of kindness to all of God's creatures. It is
said that out of two thousand criminals examined recently in American
prisons, only twelve admitted that they had been kind to animals during
youth. What strength does that fact contain as an argument for humane
education?


----

THE NIGHTINGALE.

----

You have heard so much about the Nightingale that I am sure you will be
glad to see my picture. I am not an American bird; I live in England, and
am considered the greatest of all bird vocalists.

At midnight, when the woods are still and everybody ought to be asleep, I
sing my best. Some people keep awake on purpose to hear me. One gentleman,
a poet, wept because my voice sounded so melancholy. He thought I leaned my
breast up against a thorn and poured forth my melody in anguish. Another
wondered what music must be provided for the angels in heaven, when such
music as mine was given to men on earth.

All that sounds very pretty, but between you and me, I'd sing another tune
if a thorn should pierce my breast.

Indeed, I am such a little bird that a big thorn would be the death of me.
No, indeed, I am always very happy when I sing. My mate wouldn't notice me
at all if I didn't pour out my feelings in song, both day and night. That
is the only way I have to tell her that I love her, and to ask her if she
loves me. When she says "yes," then we go to housekeeping, build a nest and
bring up a family of little Nightingales. As soon as the birdies come out
of their shell I literally change my tune.

In place of the lovely music which everybody admires, I utter only a croak,
expressive of my alarm and anxiety. Nobody knows the trouble of bringing up
a family better than I do. Sometimes my nest, which is placed on or near
the ground, is destroyed with all the little Nightingales in it; then I
recover my voice and go to singing again, the same old song: "I love you, I
love you. Do you love me?"

Toward the end of summer we leave England and return to our winter home,
way off in the interior of Africa. About the middle of April we get back to
England again, the gentlemen Nightingales arriving several days before the
lady-birds.


[Illustration: NIGHTINGALE.]



THE NIGHTINGALE.

----

NO doubt those who never hear the song of the Nightingale are denied a
special privilege. Keats' exquisite verses give some notion of it, and
William Drummond, another English poet, has sung sweetly of the bird best
known to fame. "Singer of the night" is the literal translation of its
scientific name, although during some weeks after its return from its
winter quarters in the interior of Africa it exercises its remarkable vocal
powers at all hours of the day and night. According to Newton, it is justly
celebrated beyond all others by European writers for the power of song. The
song itself is indiscribable, though numerous attempts, from the time of
Aristophanes to the present, have been made to express in syllables the
sound of its many notes; and its effects on those who hear it is described
as being almost as varied as are its tones. To some they suggest
melancholy; and many poets, referring to the bird in the feminine gender,
which cannot sing at all, have described it as "leaning its breast against
a thorn and pouring forth its melody in anguish." Only the male bird sings.
The poetical adoption of the female as the singer, however, is accepted as
impregnable, as is the position of Jenny Lind as the "Swedish Nightingale."
Newton says there is no reason to suppose that the cause and intent of the
Nightingales' song, unsurpassed though it be, differ in any respect from
those of other birds' songs; that sadness is the least impelling sentiment
that can be properly assigned for his apparently melancholy music. It may
in fact be an expression of joy such as we fancy we interpret in the songs
of many other birds. The poem, however, which we print on another page,
written by an old English poet, best represents our own idea of the
Nightingale's matchless improvisation, as some call it. It may be that it
is always the same song, yet those who have often listened to it assert
that it is never precisely the same, that additional notes are introduced
and the song at times extended.

The Nightingale is usually regarded as an English bird, and it is abundant
in many parts of the midland, eastern, and western counties of England, and
the woods, coppices, and gardens ring with its thrilling song. It is also
found, however, in large numbers in Spain and Portugal and occurs in
Austria, upper Hungary, Persia, Arabia, and Africa, where it is supposed to
spend its winters.

The markings of the male and female are so nearly the same as to render the
sexes almost indistinguishable.

They cannot endure captivity, nine-tenths of those caught dying within a
month. Occasionally a pair have lived, where they were brought up by hand,
and have seemed contented, singing the song of sadness or of joy.

The nest of the Nightingale is of a rather uncommon kind, being placed on
or near the ground, the outworks consisting of a great number of dead
leaves ingeniously put together. It has a deep, cup-like hollow, neatly
lined with fibrous roots, but the whole is so loosely constructed that a
very slight touch disturbs its beautiful arrangement. There are laid from
four to six eggs of a deep olive color.

Towards the end of summer the Nightingale disappears from England, and as
but little has been observed of its habits in its winter retreats, which
are assumed to be in the interior of Africa, little is known concerning
them.

It must be a wonderful song indeed that could inspire the muse of great
poets as has that of the Nightingale.


----

THE BIRDS OF PARADISE.

----

THE far-distant islands of the Malayan Archipelago, situated in the South
Pacific Ocean, the country of the bird-winged butterflies, princes of their
tribe, the "Orang Utan," or great man-like ape, and peopled by Papuans and
Malays--islands whose shores are bathed perpetually by a warm sea, and
whose surfaces are covered with a most luxuriant tropical vegetation--these
are the home of a group of birds that rank as the radiant gems of the
feathered race. None can excel the nuptial dress of the males, either in
the vividness of their changeable and rich plumage or the many strangely
modified and developed ornaments of feather which adorn them.

The history of these birds is very interesting. Before the year 1598 the
Malay traders called them "Manuk dewata," or God's birds, while the
Portuguese, finding they had no wings or feet, called them Passaros de sol,
or birds of the sun.

When the earliest European voyagers reached the Moluccas in search of
cloves and nutmegs, which were then rare and precious spices, they were
presented with dried skins of Birds so strange and beautiful as to excite
the admiration even of these wealth-seeking rovers. John Van Linschoten in
1598 calls them "Avis Paradiseus, or Paradise birds," which name has been
applied to them down to the present day. Van Linschoten tells us "that no
one has seen these birds alive, for they live in the air, always turning
towards the sun, and never alighting on the earth till they die." More than
a hundred years later, Funnel, who accompanied Dampier and wrote of the
voyage, saw specimens at Amboyna, and was told that they came to Banda to
eat nutmegs, which intoxicated them and made them fall down senseless, when
they were killed by ants.

In 1760 Linnaeus named the largest species Paradisea apoda (the footless
Paradise bird). At that time no perfect specimen had been seen in Europe,
and it was many years afterward when it was discovered that the feet had
been cut off and buried at the foot of the tree from which they were killed
by the superstitious natives as a propitiation to the gods. Wallace, who
was the first scientific observer, writer, and collector of these birds,
and who spent eight years on the islands studying their natural history,
speaks of the males of the great Birds of Paradise assembling together to
dance on huge trees in the forest, which have wide-spreading branches and
large but scattered leaves, giving a clear space for the birds to play and
exhibit their plumes. From twelve to twenty individuals make up one of
these parties. They raise up their wings, stretch out their necks and
elevate their exquisite plumes, keeping them in a continual vibration.
Between whiles they fly across from branch to branch in great excitement,
so that the whole tree is filled with waving plumes in every variety of
attitude and motion. The natives take advantage of this habit and climb up
and build a blind or hiding place in a tree that has been frequented by the
birds for dancing. In the top of this blind is a small opening, and before
day-light, a native with his bow and arrow, conceals himself, and when the
birds assemble he deftly shoots them with his blunt-pointed arrows.

The great demand for the plumage of Birds of Paradise for decorative
purposes is causing their destruction at a rapid rate, and this caprice of
a passing fashion will soon place one of the most beautiful denizens of our
earth in the same category as the great Auk and Dodo.--_Cincinnati
Commercial-Gazette._


----

TO A NIGHTINGALE.

----


  As it fell upon a day,
  In the merry month of May,
  Sitting in a pleasant shade,
  Which a grove of myrtles made;
  Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
  Trees did grow, and plants did spring;
  Everything did banish moan,
  Save the nightingale alone.
  She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
  Leaned her breast up--till a thorn;
  And there sung the dolefull'st ditty,
  That to hear it was great pity.
  Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
  Teru, teru, by and by;
  That, to hear her so complain,
  Scarce I could from tears refrain;
  For her griefs, so lively shewn,
  Made me think upon mine own.
  Ah!--thought I--thou mourn'st in vain;
  None takes pity on thy pain:
  Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee;
  Ruthless bears, they will not cheer thee;
  King Pandion, he is dead;
  All thy friends are lapped in lead;
  All thy fellow-birds do sing,
  Careless of thy sorrowing!
              --RICHARD BARNFIELD.
                  Old English Poet.


----

THE ROSEATE SPOONBILL.

----

SPECIMENS of this bird when seen for the first time always excite wonder
and admiration. The beautiful plumage, the strange figure, and the
curiously shaped bill at once attract attention. Formerly this Spoonbill
was found as far west as Illinois and specimens were occasionally met with
about ponds in the Mississippi Bottoms, below St. Louis. Its habitat is the
whole of tropical and subtropical America, north regularly to the Gulf
coast of the United States.

Audubon observed that the Roseate Spoonbill is to be met with along the
marshy or muddy borders of estuaries, the mouths of rivers, on sea islands,
or keys partially overgrown with bushes, and still more abundantly along
the shores of the salt-water bayous, so common within a mile or two of the
shore. There it can reside and breed, with almost complete security, in the
midst of an abundance of food. It is said to be gregarious at all seasons,
and that seldom less than half a dozen may be seen together, unless they
have been dispersed by a tempest. At the approach of the breeding season
these small flocks come together, forming immense collections, and resort
to their former nesting places, to which they almost invariably return. The
birds moult late in May, and during this time the young of the previous
year conceal themselves among the mangroves, there spending the day,
returning at night to their feeding grounds, but keeping apart from the old
birds, which last have passed through their spring moult early in March.
The Spoonbill is said occasionally to rise suddenly on the wing, and ascend
gradually in a spiral manner, to a great height. It flies with its neck
stretched forward to its full length, its legs and feet extended behind. It
moves with easy flappings, until just as it is about to alight, when it
sails over the spot with expanded wing and comes gradually to the ground.

Usually the Spoonbill is found in the company of Herons, whose vigilance
apprises it of any danger. Like those birds, it is nocturnal, its principal
feeding time being from near sunset until daylight. In procuring its food
it wades into the water, immerses its immense bill in the soft mud, with
the head, and even the whole neck, beneath the surface, moving its
partially opened mouth to and fro, munching the small fry--insects or
shell-fish--before it swallows them. Where many are together, one usually
acts as a sentinel. The Spoonbill can alight on a tree and walk on the
large branches with much facility.

The nests of these birds are platforms of sticks, built close to the trunks
of trees, from eight to eighteen feet from the ground. Three or four eggs
are usually laid. The young, when able to fly, are grayish white. In their
second year they are unadorned with the curling feathers on the breast, but
in the third spring they are perfect.

Formerly very abandant, these attractive creatures have greatly diminished
by the constant persecution of the plume hunters.


[Illustration: ROSEATE SPOONBILL.]



THE ROSEATE SPOONBILL.

----

If my nose and legs were not so long, and my mouth such a queer shape, I
would be handsome, wouldn't I? But my feathers are fine, everybody admits
that--especially the ladies.

"How lovely," they all exclaim, when they see one of us Spoonbills. "Such a
delicate, delicate pink!" and off they go to the milliners and order a hat
trimmed with our pretty plumes.

That is the reason so few of us spoonbills are to be found in certain
localities now-a-days, Florida especially. Fashion has put most of us to
death. Shame, isn't it, when there are silk, and ribbon, and flowers in the
world? Talk to your mothers and sisters, boys, and plead with them to let
the birds alone.

We inhabit the warmer parts of the world; South and Central America,
Mexico, and the Gulf regions of the United States. We frequent the shores,
both on the sea coast and in the interior; marshy, muddy ground is our
delight.

When I feel like eating something nice, out I wade into the water, run my
long bill, head and neck, too, sometimes, into the soft mud, move my bill
to and fro, and such a lot of small fry as I do gather--insects and shell
fish--which I munch and munch before I swallow.

I am called a "wader" for doing this. My legs are not any too long, you
observe, for such work. I am very thankful at such times that I don't wear
stockings or knickerbockers.

We are friendly with Herons and like to have one or two of them accompany
us. They are very vigilant fellows, we find, and make good sentinels,
warning us when danger approaches.

Fly? Oh, yes, of course we do. With our neck stretched forward and our legs
and feet extended behind, up we go gradually in a spiral manner to a great
height.

In some countries, they say, our beaks are scraped very thin, polished, and
used as a spoon, sometimes set in silver. I wonder if that is the reason we
are called Spoonbills?

The Spoonbills are sociable birds; five or six of us generally go about in
company, and when it comes time for us to raise families of little
Spoonbills, we start for our nesting place in great flocks; the same place
where our nests were built the year before.


----

DICKCISSEL.

----

MR. P. M. SILLOWAY, in his charming sketches, "Some Common Birds," writes:
"The Cardinal frequently whistles the most gaily while seated in the summit
of the bush which shelters his mate on her nest. It is thus with
Dickcissel, for though his ditties are not always eloquent to us, he is
brave in proclaiming his happiness near the fountain of his inspiration.
While his gentle mistress patiently attends to her household in some low
bush or tussock near the hedge, Dick flutters from perch to perch in the
immediate vicinity and voices his love and devotion. Once I flushed a
female from a nest in the top of an elm bush along a railroad while Dick
was proclaiming his name from the top of a hedge within twenty feet of the
site. Even while she was chirping anxiously about the spot, apprehending
that her home might be harried by ruthless visitors, he was brave and
hopeful, and tried to sustain her anxious mind by ringing forth his
cheerful exclamations."

Dick has a variety of names, the Black-throated Bunting, Little Field Lark,
and "Judas-bird." In general appearance it looks like the European House
Sparrow, averaging a trifle larger.

The favorite resorts of this Bunting are pastures with a sparse growth of
stunted bushes and clover fields. In these places, its unmusical,
monotonous song may be heard thoughout the day during the breeding season.
Its song is uttered from a tall weed, stump, or fence-stake, and is a very
pleasing ditty, says Davie, when its sound is heard coming far over grain
fields and meadows, in the blaze of the noon-day sun, when all is hushed
and most other birds have retired to shadier places.

As a rule, the Dickcissels do not begin to prepare for housekeeping before
the first of June, but in advanced seasons the nests are made and the eggs
deposited before the end of May. The nest is built on the ground, in trees
and in bushes, in tall grass, or in clover fields. The materials are
leaves, grasses, rootlets, corn husks, and weed stems; the lining is of
fine grasses, and often horse hair. It is a compact structure. Second nests
are sometimes built in July or August. The eggs number four or five, almost
exactly like those of the Bluebird.

The summer home of Dickcissel is eastern United States, extending northward
to southern New England and Ontario, and the states bordering the great
lakes. He ranges westward to the edge of the great plains, frequently to
southeastern United States on the migration. His winter home is in tropical
regions, extending as far south as northern South America. He is commonly
regarded as a Lark, but is really a Finch.

In the transactions of the Illinois Horticultural Society, Prof. S. A.
Forbes reports that his investigations show that sixty-eight per cent. of
the food of the Dickcissels renders them beneficial to horticulture, seven
per cent. injurious, and twenty-five per cent. neutral, thus leaving a
large balance in their favor.


----

THOUGHTS.

----

  Who knows the joy a flower knows
    When it blows sweetly?
  Who knows the joy a bird knows
    When it goes fleetly?

  Bird's wing and flower stem--
    Break them, who would?
  Bird's wing and flower stem--
    Make them, who could?
              --_Harper's Weekly._


[Illustration: DICKCISSEL.]



THE DICKCISSEL.

----


You little folks, I'm afraid, who live or visit in the country every
summer, will not recognize me when I am introduced to you by the above
name. You called me the Little Field Lark, or Little Meadow Lark, while all
the time, perched somewhere on a fence-stake, or tall weed-stump, I was
telling you as plain as I could what my name really is.

"_See, see_," I said, "_Dick, Dick--Cissel, Cissel._"

To tell you the truth I don't belong to the Lark family at all. Simply
because I wear a yellow vest and a black bow at my throat as they do
doesn't make me a Lark. You can't judge birds, anymore than people, by
their clothes. No, I belong to the Finch, or Bunting family, and they who
call me the _Black-throated Bunting_ are not far from right.

I am one of the birds that go south in winter. About the first of April I
get back from the tropics and really I find some relief in seeing the
hedges bare, and the trees just putting on their summer dress. In truth I
don't care much for buds and blossoms, as I only frequent the trees that
border the meadows and cornfields. Clover fields have a great attraction
for me, as well as the unbroken prairie.

I sing most of the time because I am so happy. To be sure it is about the
same tune, "_See, see,--Dick, Dick--Cissel, Cissel_," but as it is about
myself I sing I never grow tired of it. Some people do, however, and wish I
would stop some time during the day. Even in the hottest noonday you will
see me perched on a fence-stake or a tall weed-stalk singing my little
song, while my mate is attending to her nest tucked away somewhere in a
clump of weeds, or bush, very near the ground.

There, I am sorry I told you that. You may be a bad boy, or a young
collector, and will search this summer for my nest, and carry it and all
the pretty eggs away. Think how sorrowful my mate would be, and I, no
longer happy, would cease to sing, "_See, See,--Dick, Dick, Cissel,
Cissel_."


----

THE DUSKY GROUSE.

----

UNDER various names, as Blue Grouse, Grey Grouse, Mountain Grouse, Pine
Grouse, and Fool-hen, this species, which is one of the finest birds of its
family, is geographically distributed chiefly throughout the wooded and
especially the evergreen regions of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific and
northward into British America. In the mountains of Colorado Grouse is
found on the border of timber line, according to Davie, throughout the
year, going above in the fall for its principal food--grasshoppers. In
summer its flesh is said to be excellent, but when frost has cut short its
diet of insects and berries it feeds on spruce needles and its flesh
acquires a strong flavor. Its food and habits are similar to those of the
Ruffed Grouse. Its food consists of insects and the berries and seeds of
the pine cone, the leaves of the pines, and the buds of trees. It has also
the same habits of budding in the trees during deep snows. In the Blue
Grouse, however, this habit of remaining and feeding in the trees is more
decided and constant, and in winter they will fly from tree to tree, and
often are plenty in the pines, when not a track can be found in the snow.
It takes keen and practiced eyes to find them in the thick branches of the
pines. They do not squat and lie closely on a limb like a quail, but stand
up, perfectly still, and would readily be taken for a knot or a broken
limb. If they move at all it is to take flight, and with a sudden whir they
are away, and must be looked for in in another tree top.

Hallock says that in common with the Ruffed Grouse (see BIRDS, Vol. I, p.
220), the packs have a habit of scattering in winter, two or three, or even
a single bird, being often found with no others in the vicinity, their
habit of feeding in the trees tending to separate them.

The size of the Dusky Grouse is nearly twice that of the Ruffed Grouse, a
full-grown bird weighing from three to four pounds. The feathers are very
thick, and it seems fitly dressed to endure the vigor of its habitat, which
is in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada country only, and in the pine
forests from five to ten thousand feet above the level of the sea. The
latter height is generally about the snow line in these regions. Although
the weather in the mountains is often mild and pleasant in winter, and
especially healthy and agreeable from the dryness and purity of the
atmosphere, yet the cold is sometimes intense.

Some years ago Mr. Hallock advised that the acclimation of this beautiful
bird be tested in the pine forests of the east. Though too wild and shy, he
said, to be domesticated, there is no reason why it might not live and
thrive in any pine lands where the Ruffed Grouse is found. Since the
mountain passes are becoming threaded with railroads, and miners, herders,
and other settlers are scattering through the country, it will be far
easier than it has been to secure and transport live birds or their eggs,
and it is to be hoped the experiment will be tried.

This Grouse nests on the ground, often under shelter, of a hollow log or
projecting rock, with merely a few pine needles scratched together. From
eight to fifteen eggs are laid, of buff or cream color, marked all over
with round spots of umber-brown.


[Illustration: DUSKY GROUSE.]



APPLE BLOSSOM TIME.

----

  The time of apple blooms has come again,
    And drowsy winds are laden with perfume;
  In village street, in grove and sheltered glen
    The happy warblers set the air atune.

  Each swaying motion of the bud-sweet trees
    Scatters pale, fragrant petals everywhere;
  Reveals the tempting nectar cups to bees
    That gild their thighs with pollen. Here and there

  The cunning spoilers roam, and dream and sip
    The honey-dew from chalices of gold;
  The brimming cups are drained from lip to lip
    Till, cloyed with sweets, the tiny gauze wings fold.

  Above the vine-wreathed porch the old trees bend,
    Shaking their beauty down like drifted snow:
  And as we gaze, the lovely blossoms send
    Fair visions of the days of long ago.

  Yes, apple blossom time has come again,
    But still the breezes waft the perfumes old,
  And everywhere in wood, and field, and glen
    The same old life appears in lovelier mold.
                  --NORA A. PIPER.


----

LET US ALL PROTECT THE EGGS OF THE BIRDS.

----

ELIZABETH NUNEMACHER, in _Our Animal Friends_, writes thus of her
observation of birds. Would that her suggestions for their protection might
be heeded.

"Said that artist in literature, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: 'I think that,
if required, on pain of death to name instantly the most perfect thing in
the universe, I would risk my fate on a bird's egg; ... it is as if a pearl
opened and an angel sang.' But far from his beautiful thought was the empty
shell, the mere shell of the collector. How can he be a bird lover who,
after rifling some carefully tended nest, pierces the two ends of one of
these exquisite crusts of winged melody, and murderously blows one more
atom of wings and song into nothingness? The inanimate shell, however
lovely in color, what is it? It is not an egg; an egg comprehends the
contents, the life within. Aside from the worthlessness of such a
possession, each egg purloined means we know not what depth of grief to the
parent, and a lost bird life; a vacuum where song should be.

People who love birds and the study of them prefer half an hour's personal
experience with a single bird to a whole cabinet of "specimens." Yet a
scientist recently confessed that he had slain something like four hundred
and seventy-five Redstarts, thus exterminating the entire species from a
considable range of country, to verify the fact of a slight variation in
color. One would infinitely prefer to see one Redstart in the joy of life
to all that scientific lore could impart regarding the entire family of
Redstarts by such wholesale butchery, which nothing can excuse.

We hear complaints of the scarcity of Bluebirds from year to year. I have
watched, at intervals since early April, the nest of a single pair of
Bluebirds in an old apple tree. On April 29th there were four young birds
in the nest. On May 4th they had flown; an addition was made to the
dwelling, and one egg of a second brood was deposited. On May 31st the nest
again held four young Bluebirds. June 15th saw this second quartette leave
the apple tree for the outer world, and thinking surely that the little
mother had done, I appropriated the nest; but on June 25th I found a second
nest built, and one white egg, promising a third brood. From the four laid
this time, either a collector or a Bluejay deducted one, and on July 14th
the rest were just out of the shell. This instance of the industry of one
pair of Bluebirds proves that their scarcity is no fault of theirs. I may
add that the gentle mother suffered my frequent visits and my meddling with
her nursery affairs without any show of anger or excitement, uttering only
soft murmurs, which indicated a certain anxiety. May not the eleven young
Bluebirds mean a hundred next season, and is not the possessor of the
missing egg guilty of a dozen small lives?"

We have observed that the enthusiasm of boys for collecting eggs is
frequently inspired by licensed "collectors," who are known in a community
to possess many rare and valuable specimens. Too many nests are despoiled
for so-called scientific purposes, and a limit should be set to the number
of eggs that may be taken by any one for either private or public
institutions. Let us influence the boys to "love the wood-rose, and leave
it on its stalk."


[Illustration: EGGS]


  1. Spotted Sandpiper.
  2. Bartramian Sandpiper.
  3. Marbled Godwit.
  4. King Rail.
  5. American Coot.
  6. Least Tern.
  7. Sooty Tern.
  8. Common Murre.
  9. Black Tern.
  10. Herring Gull.



THE NEW TENANTS.

----

BY ELANORA KINSLEY MARBLE.


Mrs. Wren, in a very contented frame of mind, sat upon her nest, waiting
with an ever growing appetite for that delicious spider or nice fat canker
worm which her mate had promised to fetch her from the orchard.

"How happy I am," she mused, "and how thankful I ought to be for so loving
a mate and such a dear, little cozy home. Why, keeping house and raising a
family is just no trouble at all. Indeed--" but here Mrs. Wren's thoughts
were broken in upon by the arrival of Mrs. John, who announced, as she
perched upon the rim of the tin-pot and looked disdainfully around, that
she had but a very few minutes to stay.

"So this is the cozy nest your husband is so fond of talking about," she
said, her bill in the air. "My, my, whatever possessed you, my dear, to
begin housekeeping in such humble quarters. Everything in this world
depends upon appearances; the sooner you find that out, Jenny, the better.
From the very first I was determined to begin at the top. The highest pole
in the neighborhood, or none, I said to Mr. John when he was looking for a
site on which to build our house; and to do him justice Mr. Wren never
thought of anything lower himself. A tin-pot, indeed, under a porch.  Dear,
dear!" and Mrs. John's bill turned up, and the corners of her mouth turned
down in a very haughty and disdainful manner.

"I--didn't--know, I'm--sure," faltered poor little Mrs. Jenny, her feathers
drooping at once. "I--thought our little house, or flat, was very nice and
comfortable. It is in an excellent neighborhood, and our landlord's family
is--"

"Oh, bother your landlord's family," interrupted Mrs. John impolitely. "All
your neighbors are tired and sick of hearing Mr. Wren talk about his
landlord's family. The way he repeats their sayings and doings is
nauseating, and as for naming your brood after them, why--" Mrs. John
shrugged her wings and laughed scornfully.

Mrs. Wren's head feathers rose at once, but experience had taught her the
folly of quarreling with her aunt, so she turned the subject by inquiring
solicitously after her ladyship's health.

"Oh, its only fair, fair to middlin'," returned Mrs. John, poking her bill
about the edge of the nest as though examining its lining. "I told Mr. John
this morning that I would be but a shadow of myself after fourteen days
brooding, if he was like the other gentlemen Wrens in the neighborhood.
Catch _me_ sitting the day through listening to him singing or showing off
for my benefit. No, indeed! He is on the nest now, keeping the eggs warm,
and I told him not to dare leave it till my return."

Mrs. Jenny said nothing, but she thought what her dear papa would have done
under like circumstances.

"All work and no play," continued Mrs. John, "makes dull women as well as
dull boys. That was what my mama said when she found out papa meant her to
do all the work while he did the playing and singing. Dear, dear, how many
times I have seen her box his ears and drive him onto the nest while she
went out visiting," and at the very recollection Mrs. John flirted her tail
over her back and laughed loudly.

"How many eggs are you sitting upon this season, Aunt?" inquired Mrs.
Jenny, timidly.

"Eight. Last year I hatched out nine; as pretty a brood as you would want
to see. If I had time, Jenny, I'd tell you all about it. How many eggs are
under you?"

"Six," meekly said Jenny, who had heard about that brood scores of times,
"we thought--we thought--"

"Well?" impatiently, "you thought what?"

"That six would be about as many as we could well take care of. I am sure
it will keep us both busy finding worms and insects for even that number of
mouths."

"I should think it would" chuckled Mrs. John, nodding her head wisely,
"but--" examining a feather which she had drawn out of the nest with her
bill, "what is this? A _chicken_ feather, as I live; a big, coarse, chicken
feather. And straw too, instead of hay. Ah! little did I think a niece of
mine would ever furnish her house in such a shabby manner," and Mrs. John,
whose nest was lined with horse-hair, and the downiest geese feathers which
her mate could procure, very nearly turned green with shame and
mortification.

Mrs. Jenny's head-feathers were bristling up again when she gladly espied
Mr. Wren flying homeward with a fine wriggling worm in his bill.

"Ah, here comes your hubby," remarked Mrs. John, "he's been to market, I
see. Well, ta, ta, dear. Run over soon to see us," and off Mrs. John flew
to discuss Mrs. Jenny's housekeeping arrangements with one of her
neighbors.

Mr. Wren's songs and antics failed, to draw a smile from his mate the
remainder of that day. Upon her nest she sat and brooded, not only her
eggs, but over the criticisms and taunts of Mrs. John. Straw,
chicken-feathers, and old tin pots occupied her thoughts to the exclusion
of everything else, and it was not without a feeling of shame she recalled
her morning's happiness and spirit of sweet content. The western sky was
still blushing under the fiery gaze of the sun, when Mrs. Jenny fell into a
doze and dreamed that she, the very next day, repaid Mrs. John Wren's call.
The wind was blowing a hurricane and the pole on which Mrs. John's fine
house stood, shook and shivered till Mrs. Jenny looked every minute for
pole and nest and eggs to go crashing to the ground.

"My home," thought she, trembling with fear, "though humble, is built upon
a sure foundation. Love makes her home there, too. Dear little tin-pot!
Chicken feathers or straw, what does it matter?" and home Mrs. Jenny
hastened, very thankful in her dream for the protecting walls, and
overhanging porch, as well as the feeling of security afforded by her
sympathetic human neighbors.

The fourteen days in truth did seem very long to Mrs. Wren, but cheered by
her mate's love songs and an occasional outing--all her persuasions could
not induce Mr. Wren to brood the eggs in her absence--it wasn't a man's
work, he said--the time at length passed, and the day came when a tiny
yellow beak thrust itself through the shell, and in a few hours, to the
parents delight, a little baby Wren was born.

Mr. Wren was so overcome with joy that off he flew to the nearest tree, and
with drooping tail and wings shaking at his side, announced, in a gush of
song, to the entire neighborhood the fact that he was a papa.

"A pa-pa, is it?" exclaimed Bridget, attracted by the bird's manner to
approach the nest. "From watchin' these little crathers it do same I'm
afther understandin' bird talk and bird-ways most like the misthress
herself," and with one big red finger she gently pushed the angry Mrs. Wren
aside and took a peep at the new born bird.

"Howly mither!" said she, retreating in deep disgust, "ov all the skinny,
ugly little bastes! Shure and its all head and no tail, with niver a
feather to kiver its nakedness. It's shamed I'd be, Mr. Wren, to father an
ugly crather loike that, so I would," and Bridget, who had an idea that
young birds came into the world prepared at once to fly, shook her head
sadly, and went into the house to inform the family of the event.

One by one the children peeped into the nest and all agreed with Bridget
that it was indeed a very ugly little birdling which lay there.

"Wish I could take it out, mama," said Dorothy, "and put some of my doll's
clothes on it. It is such a shivery looking little thing."

"Ugh!" exclaimed Walter, "what are those big balls covered with skin on
each side of its head; and when will it look like a bird, mama?"

"Those balls are its eyes," she laughingly replied, "which will open in
about five days. The third day you will perceive a slate-colored down or
fuzz upon its head. On the fourth its wing feathers will begin to show. On
the seventh the fuzz will become red-brown feathers on its back and white
upon its breast. The ninth day it will fly a little way, and on the twelfth
will leave its nest for good."

"An' its a foine scholard ye's are, to be shure, mum," said Bridget in
open-mouthed admiration. "Whoiver 'ud hev thought a mite ov a crather loike
that 'ud be afther makin' so interesthing a study. Foreninst next spring,
God willin," she added, "its meself, Bridget O'Flaherty, as will be one ov
them same."

"One of them same what?" inquired her mistress laughingly.

"Horn-ith-owl-ogists, mum," replied Bridget, not without much difficulty,
and with a flourish of her fine red arms and a triumphant smile upon her
round face, Bridget returned to her kitchen and work again.

[TO BE CONTINUED]


----

SUMMARY.

----

Page 126.

OVENBIRD--_Seiurus aurocapellus._ Other names: "The Teacher," "Wood
Wagtail," "Golden Crowned Accentor."

RANGE--United States to Pacific Slope.

NEST--On the ground, oven-shape.

EGGS--Three to six, white or creamy white, glossy, spotted.

----

Page 130.

ARCTIC THREE-TOED WOODPECKER--_Picoides arcticus._ Other name:
"Black-backed Three-toed Woodpecker."

RANGE--Northern North America, south to northern border of the United
States, and farther on high mountain ranges. In the mountains of the west
(Sierra Nevada, etc.) south to about 39°, where it breeds.

NEST--In dead trees, not more than five or six feet from the ground.

EGGS--Four to six, pure ivory white.

----

Page 134.

BARTRAMIAN SANDPIPER--_Bartramia longicauda._ Other names: "Bartram's
Tattler," "Prairie Pigeon," "Prairie Snipe," "Grass Plover," and "Quaily."

RANGE--Eastern North America, north to Nova Scotia and Alaska, south in
winter as far as southern South America.

NEST--In a slight depression of the ground.

EGGS--Four, of a pale clay or buff, thickly spotted with umber and
yellowish brown.

----

Page 138.

NIGHTINGALE--_Motacilla luscinia_ (Linn.)

RANGE--England, Spain, Portugal, Austria, south to the interior of Africa.

NEST--Cup shape, made of dry leaves, neatly lined with fibrous roots.

EGGS--Four to six, of a deep olive color.

----

Page 143.

ROSEATE SPOONBILL--_Ajaja ajaja._

RANGE--Southern United States and southward into southern South America.

NEST--Platform of sticks, built close to the trunk of a tree, from eight to
eighteen feet from the ground.

EGGS--Three or four, white, or buffy-white, blotched, spotted, and stained
with various shades of brown.

----

Page 147.

DICKCISSEL--_Spiza americana._ Other names: "Black-throated Bunting,"
"Little Field Lark," and "Judas-bird."

RANGE--Eastern United States to the Rocky Mountains, north to
Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc., south in winter to
northern South America.

NEST--On the ground, in trees, and in bushes.

EGGS--Four or five, almost exactly like those of the Bluebird.

----

Page 151.

DUSKY GROUSE--_Dendragapus obscurus._

RANGE--Rocky Mountains, west to Wahsatch, north to central Montana, south
to New Mexico and Arizona.

NEST--On the ground, under shelter of a hollow log or projecting rock, with
merely a a few pine needles scratched together.

EGGS--Eight to fifteen, of buff or cream color, marked all over with small
round spots of umber-brown.





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