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Title: Birds and all Nature, Vol. IV, No. 4, October 1898 - Illustrated by Color Photography
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 and all Nature, Vol. IV, No. 4, October 1898 - Illustrated by Color Photography" ***

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  BIRDS AND ALL NATURE.

  ILLUSTRATED BY COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY.

  VOL. IV.         OCTOBER, 1898.         NO. 4.



CONTENTS


                                                    Page

  EARS                                               121

  THE KINGBIRD OF PARADISE.                          124

  THE PECCARY.                                       128

  AUTUMN.                                            132

  THE BOTTLE-NOSE DOLPHIN.                           135

  NEW CHAMPION FOR THE SPARROW.                      135

  THE VOICE OF NATURE.                               136

  IN THE ANIMAL WORLD.                               136

  THE TUFTED PUFFIN.                                 139

  "THE TALK OF ANIMALS."                             140

  THE BUTTERFLY.                                     142

  THE ARMADILLO.                                     146

  NATURE'S GROTESQUE.                                149

  THE RED-HEAD DUCK.                                 150

  BIRDS IN GARDEN AND ORCHARD.                       153

  GOLDENROD.                                         154

  OCTOBER.                                           157

  FROM "CONSTANTINOPLE."                             158

  ANIMALS AND MUSIC.                                 159

  SUMMARY.                                           160



EARS.

BY W. E. WATT.


The air is an elastic fluid surrounding the earth. The motions of
things whether alive or not, set it in a state of vibration that rarely
ceases. At all times and in all places it is pulsing responsively to
all that is going on.

Animals are interested in what is moving about them. It may mean life
or death, pleasure or agony, and most animals are keen to know which is
for them at any given period. They are therefore equipped with organs
that respond to these waves of the air. They are variously equipped,
some hearing certain sounds feebly where others are acute to them and
deeply moved. Some sounds are full of moment to one organism arousing
it to nervous activity while another organism knows nothing of what is
so distinctly heard by the first.

Can a Mule hear more than a Mouse is a question which has agitated many
young people who have considered the length of the former's ear and its
versatility. A series of experiments once conducted in youthful sport
by the writer, seemed to settle the matter that each can hear sounds
which are unnoticed by the other, and that the ear of the Mouse is much
better adapted in hearing powers to the occupation of the Mouse than
is that of his long eared neighbor. Certain shrill sounds of whatever
degree of loudness, cannot be heard by the Mule even when oats might
be secured by attending to them, while distant sounds of a heavy
character seem to fail to affect the ear of the Mouse.

The same is noticeable in the hearing of people. To some persons a
note one octave higher than the highest note of a piano, cannot be
heard. Others can hear such a tone, and yet others are made painfully
nervous by it without knowing quite what the trouble is. To some the
chirp of the Sparrow is the upper limit of hearing, others can hear
the voice of the Bat, yet others are able to hear the notes of insects
that range higher in pitch than the voice of the Bat. Dr. Wollaston
says, "As there is nothing in the nature of the atmosphere to prevent
the existence of vibrations incomparably more frequent than any of
which we are conscious, we may imagine that animals like the Grilli
(Grasshoppers) whose powers appear to commence nearly where ours
terminate, may have the faculty of hearing still sharper sounds which
we do not know to exist; and that there may be other insects, hearing
nothing in common with us, but endowed with a power of exciting, and a
sense which perceives vibrations of the same nature, indeed, as those
which constitute our ordinary sounds, but so remote that the animals
who perceive them may be said to possess another sense agreeing with
our own solely in the medium by which it is excited."

The human ear is capable of hearing musical sounds produced by
vibrations ranging from twenty-four in a second of time to forty
thousand. This indicates that humanity is confined in interest to the
motions of the atmosphere within these limits. The possibilities of
higher and lower fields of music are such that one writer has said that
it may be that the air about us is constantly resounding to the music
of the heavenly hosts while our dull ears with their limited powers are
unable to catch the poorest note in that celestial harmony.

Sound travels about one thousand ninety feet in a second in the air.
Through other elastic mediums it varies in speed. The beholder of an
explosion of dynamite in a harbor receives three shocks, one coming by
way of the air, another by water, and the third through the earth, all
arriving at different times.

It is a fortunate thing that low sounds travel as rapidly as high
ones and loud sounds no faster than soft ones. Thus the playing of
a band upon the water, at a distance, is beautiful, because all the
tones powerful enough to reach the listener do so at the right time to
preserve harmony. If it were not for this equality in traveling power,
no music on a grand scale could be possible, for those sitting at a
distance from the performers would be in a sea of discord from the late
arrival of tones which should have blended with those gone before. In
spite of the fact that our highest appreciable note is but one-third of
an inch in length of wave and the wave of our lowest note exceeds forty
feet in length, all sounds produced in harmony travel in harmony till
exhausted in space.

The ears of various animals are beautifully adapted to their respective
habits. The watch of the Dog is most valuable because distant noises
are so readily detected by his faithful ear. The Thrush has been
observed hopping along the ground with frequent stops to listen. So
keen is his hearing that the presence of a Worm below the surface is
detected by the sound of the Worm's occupation. By judiciously beating
the ground he brings the Worm toward the surface as if to escape its
enemy, the Mole. At the proper instant the turf is torn up and nearly
always the Worm secured.

The form of the outer ear is adapted to the needs of the animal. Most
grass eating animals have ears that turn readily in all directions to
listen for enemies, but the ears of flesh eating animals that pursue
their prey are set only to reach forward to hear the sounds of escaping
prey.

Many insects and lower orders of animals are looked upon by man as
incapable of the pleasures of hearing. But this is often a mistake.
Snails have been known to enjoy the voice of their human friends and
come forth when called by familiar voices.

The fondness of the Cobra for music and the powers of charming this
hideous animal partly by appealing to his esthetic hearing are well
known. Moths have good hearing as one may observe while walking in the
woods where the crackling of dry sticks alarms them so they fly up from
their noonday slumbers in great numbers. The antennæ of the Butterfly
are supposed to act as hearing organs. Crabs and Shrimps hear with
their inner antennæ, Clams with their feet, and some of the crustacea
with the bases of the lobe of the tail.

Many animals seem to enjoy the voice of man and the sounds of the
various musical instruments which he uses. Frogs and Toads may be
taught to know their master's voice. Canaries, Parrots, and Doves enjoy
human singing and instrumental music as well. A Woodchuck has been
known to manifest his refinement of soul by coming forth from his
hole at the sound of a piano and to sit with the air of a connoisseur
criticising the selections with which he was being favored.

Not only is the ability to hear different in different persons, but
the thoroughness with which they hear varies largely. Few sounds
consist of simple waves of air. As the waves of the sea are noticed
to bear smaller waves upon them and these in turn to carry wavelets,
so the waves of sound are rarely smooth, simple waves. There are many
more waves upon waves in sound production than can be observed on the
surface of the sea. A note from the piano not only sounds the note
which the key struck represents, but also a great many tones that
chord with this tone higher up the scale. These overtones are not so
loud as the fundamental tone and cannot readily be detected by the
uncultivated ear. But they give character to the tone. The overtones
make the note of the violin and the cornet differ. No two voices have
the same overtones, and while we are unable to hear these overtones by
themselves, yet we are able to distinguish the voices of our friends
instantly by means of them.

As voices differ in the overtones they carry, so do ears differ in the
number of overtones they are able to receive. Some people enjoy hearing
high voices only. For them the soprano or tenor is always in demand.
Others prefer deep voices and admire altos and basses. I have stood
beside a friend at a concert where a first class artist was pouring
forth a baritone song with the most delicate and artistic tone and
finish, and had my friend turn to me and say: "What on earth do people
find in that man's voice to pay money to hear?" The singer's voice was
full of rich overtones which made it valuable to the average cultured
listener, but in the ear of my friend they produced a jarring that was
decidedly unpleasant to him, although he was fond of the singing of the
untrained voices of the members of the choir where he attended church.

A large part of the business of the voice culture expert is the
adjustment of the vocal organs in singing so as to produce the right
sets of overtones to give the voice a carrying quality and the richness
we enjoy in the finished artist. One notable example of the production
of too much of a good thing was instanced in the fate of a soprano who
came to America a few years ago with an extensive operatic repertoire
and a voice that could not be drowned by a full orchestra as it soared
to the greatest heights and displayed a flexibility most remarkable.
But she failed to please us. A neighbor of mine said to her friend:
"Just wait till you hear Madame Blank begin. She has a voice that will
cut you like a knife."

Both the inner and outer ear formations are responsible for the
differences in hearing in different people. Cultivation does much for
any sense, but for him that has no ear for music cultivation will not
construct an ear. It is easy to see what a difference in hearing will
be produced by a slight change in the position of the outer ear. While
listening to a steady sound, draw the ear forward with one finger,
relax it to its normal position, then push it back against the head.
The quality of the sound heard and its intensity will be varied in each
instance.

So we may be lenient with our friends who do not enjoy the same sort of
music with ourselves. And the same music will not always be the very
same. A pistol shot upon a mountain top sounds much like a fire cracker
in a valley, and the condition of the atmosphere frequently modifies
music almost as much as the shape of the room in which it is produced.



THE KINGBIRD OF PARADISE.


Wouldn't you little folks like to see a number of us brilliant,
gem-like Birds of Paradise flitting among the trees as do your Robins
and Woodpeckers and Jays? To see us spreading our wings in the sun, and
preening our ruby and emerald and topaz and amethyst tinted plumes,
ribbons, and streamers?

Ah, that would be an astonishing sight, but you will have to journey
to an island in the South Pacific Ocean to see that; an island whose
shores are bathed by a warm sea, and where the land is covered with the
most luxuriant tropical vegetation.

It was about three hundred years ago that the people of Europe first
knew that such superb birds existed on this earth. Traders visited
one of the Malayan islands in search of cloves and nutmegs, and upon
leaving, the natives presented them with a few dried skins of a
wonderfully beautiful bird. The natives called them "God's Birds," and
in order to propitiate heaven for killing them, cut off the feet of the
dead birds and buried them beneath the tree upon which they were found.

The dried bodies of the birds were exported as time went on, and as the
people of Europe had never seen one alive, but always the skin without
legs and feet, they came to consider them as heavenly birds, indeed,
formed to float in the air as they dwelt in the Garden of Eden, resting
occasionally by suspending themselves from the branches of trees by
the feathers of their tails, and feeding on air, or the soft dews of
heaven. Hence they called us the BIRDS OF PARADISE.

It was not till one hundred years after, when a writer and collector
of birds visited the island, and spent years in watching and studying
us, that the truth became known. Certainly, the gentleman must have
laughed, when, instead of heavenly dew, he saw a BIRD OF PARADISE catch
a Grass-hopper and holding it firmly by his claws, trim it of wings and
legs, then devour it, head first. Fruit and insects of all kinds we eat
instead of dew and air.

He also saw a party of twenty or thirty males dancing on the branches
of huge trees, raising their wings, stretching out their necks and
elevating their plumes all for the purpose of admiring themselves or
being admired. Some of them have finer plumage than I, but only the
KINGBIRDS OF PARADISE have those two dear little rings which you see in
my picture.

  [Illustration: From col. Mr. F. Kaempfer.
                 KINGBIRD OF PARADISE.
                 3/4 Life-size.
                 Copyright by
                 Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.]

The sublime is no nearer the ridiculous in literature than in the
things of nature. An instance of this is the close relation of the
common Crow to the most glorious bird of them all. Not only are they
very much alike in general form, including shape of feet, bill, bones,
and ordinary feathering, but also in habit. They seem to delight in the
same sorts of food and secure it in much the same manner. When they are
happiest and attempt to pour forth their songs of joy the voice of the
Crow is fully as melodious and satisfactory to the human ear as is that
of the Bird of Paradise.

The old fable in regard to their having no feet and living only on the
dews of heaven and the delicacies which they were supposed to be able
to collect from the atmosphere as they floated perpetually free from
the earth and its contaminations was so grateful to Europeans that when
Antony Pigafetta, who accompanied Magellan around the world and secured
a great deal of information at first hand, described them as birds
with very ordinary, in fact, almost ugly, feet and legs, he was not
believed, and Aldrovandus publicly brought accusations against him for
audacious falsehood.

While the males have not only a splendid growth of delicate floating
feathers of very unusual length and glossy fineness of texture, the
females have but little more to boast of than our American Crow, and
they even lack the degree of lustre which our black friend frequently
exhibits. But the males are adorned with a wealth of color display,
rich in velvety softness and blazing with metallic lustre. This lustre
cannot be appreciated from the appearance of the faded specimens so
often seen in the museums which may have suffered, not alone from dust
and exposure for years to the chemical action of light but have also
been sadly diminished in glory by the rude arts of the natives who
fumigate the skins with burning sulphur, their principal care seeming
to be to get enough of it deposited to make sure of the skins' not
being attacked by insects.

To be seen to best advantage one needs to watch them as they make their
short migrations in flocks from one island to another with the change
of the seasons from the dry to the wet monsoon. They prefer traveling
against the wind rather than with it because their plumage is so
elaborate and delicate in its structure that an attempt to fly with the
wind frequently brings disaster to the glorious males and causes them
to tumble ignominiously to the ground, after which they are a long time
in arranging affairs for another attempt at navigation of the air.

The King Bird of Paradise is a small bird, measuring but little over
six inches in length. It is extremely vivacious, flying about and
running with but little show of the dignity of its family. Very fond of
fruits, it is not satisfied with attacking those which other birds of
its size would choose, but enjoys showing its gormandizing powers by
devouring as much as possible of the largest specimens within its reach.

The fan-shaped tuft of feathers which adorns each side of the bird are
subject to his will, being raised and spread out or lowered as the
weather or the feelings of the bird seem to demand. At the ends of the
long feather shafts springing from its tail are markings which strongly
resemble the eye-like ornaments of the Peacock. The shafts seem not
content with stretching themselves out to a greater length than that
of the bird itself, but at the extremities they curve inward coiling
compactly into spiral discs flashing with emerald green.



THE PECCARY.


Looks very much like a little Pig, does'nt he, children? Well, so he
is, a species of wild pig found in the canebrakes of Texas, and native
of South America.

You would hardly think so small an animal could be so ferocious, but
the inhabitants of South America dread and fear him as much as they do
the Wild Boar. He is a fearless little creature, too, attacking any
object which comes in his way no matter how big it is. Even an Elephant
wouldn't scare him, though, as Elephants are not found in South America
or Texas, I presume a Peccary never saw one.

His jaws, as you see, are armed with tusks, like those of the Boar,
but they are straight instead of curved, are sharp at the edges, and
although no longer than your finger can inflict a terrible wound on
account of the great strength of the animal's neck.

When a body of them charge an enemy they will fight till every one of
them is slain. You will not wonder then that Men, Horses, and Dogs fly
at the approach of a herd of Peccaries, the poor Horses being so easily
brought down by having their legs cut to pieces by the sharp tusks.

In the canebrakes of Texas, where the trees are of enormous size, the
Peccaries make their home. A fallen tree overgrown with thickets of the
cane, matted together with strong and thorny vines, is their favorite
lodging. Into one of these hollow logs a drove of twenty or thirty will
enter at night, each one backing in, the last one to enter standing
with his nose to the entrance and acting as sentinel.

On dark, drizzly days they never leave their lodgings, and it is on
these days that the farmers who have suffered by their ravages on
grain-crop and stock, succeed in putting an end to many of their
enemies. As soon as daylight appears and the protruding snout and
watchful eyes of the sentinel on duty can be seen, a sharp report
of a rifle is heard; with a spring the sentinel leaps out and soon
rolls lifeless upon the ground. Instantly a low grunt is heard, and
another snout and sharp pair of eyes appear in the opening. A flash, a
report, and out he leaps to his death, also; thus they go on till every
"lodger" is disposed of.

Of all animals the Peccary alone, it is said, resists the terror of the
gun, its flash and report serving only to enrage him.

  [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                 PECCARY.
                 1/5 Life-size.
                 Copyright by
                 Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]

This interesting animal, which is of common occurrence throughout the
forests of South America, roams through the woods in large herds and is
constantly migrating, being often driven by scarcity of food to make
long journeys. Rendgger, the well known naturalist, states that one may
follow the Peccaries for days without seeing them. In their wanderings
they keep to the open country, which ordinarily they rarely frequent,
and even streams cannot stop them. If they reach a field they cross
it at a run, and if they arrive at the banks of a river they do not
hesitate but swim at once across it.

They have been seen crossing the Paraguay river at a place where it
requires about a half hour to do so. The herd keeps together in a close
throng, the males in advance, each mother having her young behind her.
The noise made by the animals can be heard a long distance, not only on
account of the dull, hoarse sounds which they make, but still more by
reason of the cracking of the dead branches which they break in their
impetuous progress.

Both day and night the Peccaries search for food. They eat all kinds
of arboreal fruit and roots, and their teeth are so strong that they
can easily open the hardest of palm seeds. They often do great mischief
to the crops. Besides vegetable food they are said also to eat Snakes,
Lizards, Worms, and Grubs, in this respect being useful animals. They
are much more cleanly in their habits than the Wild Boars, and Beehm
asserts that they never eat more than they require, and seek water only
during periods of the most intense heat, and then they wallow only in
pools. During the day they hide in tree trunks, in which they sleep
also at night.

The female gives birth to a single young one, in rare instances to two.
The cry of the young is like that of Goats. They are easily tamed and
domesticated if treated well. The flesh is eaten by the poorer classes,
the skin being chiefly used for bags and thongs. On account of a gland
which the animal bears in its haunches and which has an evil effect on
the meat, causing it to become unfit for use in a very short time, the
flesh is not considered to be particularly excellent.

It has been said that the Peccary is totally devoid of fear. It is
small, rarely exceeding eighteen inches in height, and yet it is not
less dreaded than the most savage Wild Boar would be. Many an unlucky
sportsman, to escape a herd of these wild creatures has been glad
to climb a tree in time to save his life. Men, Horses, and Dogs fly
in haste, for the Peccaries fight like a well drilled army, and by
swarming about an enemy they are sure to conquer with their strong,
sharp tusks. They avoid conflict with man, and shyly run into the thick
woods on his approach, but when fired upon or brought to bay they seem
possessed only with rage and desire for vengeance.

The Peccary is peculiar in his anatomy, having several sacs in place
of a single stomach, thus resembling the cud chewing animals. This
resemblance is traced still further in the feet, where the metacarpal
and metatarsal bones of the two greater toes are united into a sort of
cannon bone.

This specimen came from the canebrakes of Texas.



AUTUMN.

    "Lightly He blows, and at His breath they fall,
      The perishing kindreds of the leaves; they drift,
    Spent flames of scarlet, gold aerial,
      Across the hollow year, noiseless and swift.
    Lightly He blows, and countless as the falling
      Of snow by night upon a solemn sea,
    The ages circle down beyond recalling,
      To strew the hollows of Eternity.
    He sees them drifting through the spaces dim,
      And leaves and ages are as one to Him."


The summer wanes; the days grow shorter and the evenings longer,
heralding the advent of Autumn, and the woods and fields are mellowing
under the genial glow of the sun. All Nature is taking on a warmer
tinge, gladdening the eye with its fullness of beauty--rich in the
promise of autumnal harvest.

It is a sad fact, but none the less true that a great many of us go
through life with unseeing eyes. Why must we be _taught_ to see the
beauties around us? What a tale might be told by the little flower that
we pass carelessly by, or tread upon in our haste; if we would but
listen!

There is beauty everywhere--in the early dawning when the iris-tinted
morning-glories are radiant with glittering dew drops; when the sun is
high overhead; when the soft twilight has enveloped the land in its
mantle of calm; whether the rain is falling or whether the skies are
blue and sunny beauty is everywhere.

"How strikingly the course of Nature tells by its light heed of human
suffering that it was fashioned for a happier world!" Listen to the
songs of happy birds. How care-free! How joyously they outpour from
over-flowing little throats their God-given melodies of love and
gladness! Is not the world brighter and better for their being?

Overhead in the maple a little life was struggling for being. It was
only a pebble thrown by a thoughtless boy "to see if he could hit it,"
but the cruel act was done, and the little songster, the happy bird
whose early morning matins together with the carolings of his mate, had
greeted us all through the summer lay in the little nest greviously
wounded. The hurried, distressed movements of his little mate told of
her anxiety to do what she could for the sufferer. She seemed to know
it would not be long, now,--that he would never sing with her again.

After awhile everything was still in the maple bough. It was growing
dark as we softly approached the nest, and we thought the remaining
bird had flown away. It had not, however, for as the inquisitive face
of our little girl peeped into the leafy retreat we heard a rustle of
wings, and the bird flew out from its place of repose. Perhaps she was
watching the little dead form of her mate, sure that her vigil would be
rewarded and that he would greet her in the morning with love as he had
done for so long. Who knows?

Next day we buried the little martyr and the other bird went away. She
has not returned since, but the nest still remains in the old place.
The boy who had done the mischief went on his way unconscious of the
thing he had done, but

    "He can never, never repay
    The little life that he took away."

                                        --E. S.



  [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                 BOTTLE NOSE DOLPHIN.
                 1/7 Life-size.
                 Copyright by
                 Nature Science Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]

THE BOTTLE-NOSE DOLPHIN.


Dolphins, according to the best authorities, inhabit all oceans, and
undertake great migrations, but are the only Whales which frequent
the rivers or even spend their whole lives in them, or in the lakes
connected with them. They are all gregarious, some of them collecting
in very large shoals, and roaming about the sea together for weeks and
weeks. Their liveliness, playfulness, and lack of shyness have earned
them the friendship of sailors and poets from the remotest ages.

The Bottle-nose Dolphin is one of the best known members of the family.
The snout is very long, like a beak, and protrudes from twelve to
twenty-four inches. The range of this Dolphin seems to be restricted to
the Arctic Ocean and the north of the Atlantic, but it is known to make
regular migrations a considerable distance south of it. Occasionally it
appears on the coast of Great Britain. Cuttlefish, Mollusks, and small
fry compose its food.

Kuekenthal declares that its diving powers are remarkable; 300 fathoms
of line were taken off by a harpooned Bottle-nose which remained
forty-five minutes under water. They swim with such extraordinary speed
that they not only follow the course of the swiftest steamer with
ease, but gambol near it on their way, circling around it at will, and
without being left behind. Occasionally one of them jerks himself up
into the air, and, turning a somersault, falls noiselessly back into
the water and hurriedly resumes his former position.

Several years ago we saw a school of Dolphins swimming and frolicking
in the East River on the way from New York Bay to Long Island Sound.
They seemed to us like gigantic Swine, their motions being similar to
those that precipitated themselves, according to the New Testament,
into the sea. They are very interesting to watch, and travelers find
great pleasure in their company in crossing the ocean. Sometimes a
small school of Dolphins will play about the ship for days at a time,
affording constant amusement to the spectators.



NEW CHAMPION FOR THE SPARROW.


The Sparrow has found an unexpected champion in the Prime Minister
of France. The farmers have recently been agitating in favor of the
extermination of the little bird, and succeeded so far that a decree
was submitted to Premier Meline for signature, giving orders for the
destruction of the bird throughout the country by all available means.
Before giving his sanction to the measure the Prime Minister determined
to make an investigation, in the course of which he has received so
much information in favor of the birds, especially from the Forestry
Department, that he has not only refused to sign the decree, but has
announced that he is about to take steps to promote the increase of the
species in consequence of its usefulness. It seems that the harm they
do to the crops is more than counterbalanced by the benefits which they
confer in destroying the Caterpillars, Worms, and other insects that
are so detrimental to trees.

It seems incredible that the matter of the usefulness or noxiousness
of this little bird cannot be settled finally by those vested with
authority to act. It is either beneficial or a pest. We think it is
both, according to circumstances.



THE VOICE OF NATURE.


    Who could not sleep in this embowered room
      Perched high above the suffocating ground;
    Where clinging vines, and tree-tops in their bloom
      Cast grateful shade and fragrance all around;
    When, added to the magic spell of flowers,
      The night bird's song fills up the witching hours!


    Who could not rise refreshed at early dawn
      In this same sweet, enchanted nook;
    When, to the half-unconscious ear is borne,
      From Lark and Robin, Sparrow, Thrush and Rook,
    The gentle warning of the opening day--
      God's earliest sermon to humanity!


    What soul could feel the burdening weight of sin
      When, from these tiny, upraised throats,
    The songs of Nature's praise begin
      And Heavenward pour, in liquid dulcet notes!
    We gladly join our grateful voice to theirs
      And turn our thoughts to God in earnest prayers.

                                        E. D. BARRON.



IN THE ANIMAL WORLD.


The organs of smell in a Vulture and a Carrion Crow are so keen that
they can scent their food for a distance of forty miles, so they say.

The wings of birds are not only to aid locomotion in the air, but also
on the ground and water. One bird even has claws in the "elbows" of its
wings to aid in climbing.

The Elephant does not smell with his trunk. His olfactory nerves are
contained in a single nostril, which is in the roof of the mouth, near
the front.

Humming Birds are domesticated by placing in their cages a number of
paper flowers of tubular form, containing a small quantity of sugar
and water, which must be frequently renewed. Of this liquid the birds
partake and quickly become apparently contented with their captivity.

Rightly considered, a Spider's web is a most curious as well as a most
beautiful thing. When we were children, the majority of us supposed
that the Spider's web was pulled out of its mouth, and that the little
insect had a large reel of the stuff in his stomach, and that he could
almost instantly add feet, yards, or rods to the roll. The facts are
that Spiders have a regular spinning machine--a set of tiny tubes at
the far end of the body--and that the threads are nothing more nor
less than a white, sticky fluid, which hardens as soon as it comes in
contact with the air. The Spider does not really and truly "spin," but
begins a thread by pressing his "spinneret" against some object, to
which the liquid sticks. He then moves away and by constantly ejecting
the fluid and allowing it to harden, forms his ropes or wonderful
geometrical nets.

Birds have separate notes of warning to indicate whether danger is
in the shape of a Hawk or a Cat or a man. If a Cat, a Hawk, or an
Owl is on the move, the Birds, especially Blackbirds, always utter
a clattering note, constantly repeated, and Chickens have a special
sound to indicate the presence of a Hawk. But when disturbed by man the
Blackbirds have quite a different sound of alarm and the Chickens also.



  [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                 TUFTED PUFFIN.
                 2/5 Life-size.
                 Copyright by
                 Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]

THE TUFTED PUFFIN.


These birds nest in colonies, the family consisting of about thirty
species, nearly all found in the northern parts of the northern
hemisphere. Audubon is said to have procured the specimen figured by
him at the mouth of the Kennebec river, Maine, the only record of its
occurrence on the Atlantic coast.

The Tufted Puffin breeds upon the rocks and in the Rabbit warrens near
the sea, finding the ready-made burrows of the Rabbit very convenient
for the reception of its egg, and fighting with the owner for the
possession of its burrow. Where Rabbits do not exist, the Puffin digs
its own burrows, and works hard at its labor. The egg is generally
placed several feet within the holes, and the parent defends it
vigorously.

Like most of the sea birds, both sexes assist in incubation, says a
recent writer, referring to the birds found at the famous rookery in
the open sea two hundred miles west of Fort Wrangell, an island often
visited by the Indians for birds and eggs, and are close sitters, a
great amount of probing with a long stick being necessary to dislodge
them. A grassy hill side is a favorite retreat and here it is dangerous
to travel about on account of the Puffins constantly coming blindly
out of their dark holes with a force sufficient to upset one if fairly
struck by the flying birds. When specimens are wanted they are easily
captured with snares set over their holes during the night. The
vari-colored pear-shaped eggs are well known and make good eating.

The Farrallones are the home of vast numbers of Puffins, as well
as other sea-birds, though less numerous than formerly. The nests
have been robbed for the eggs to an extent that threatened their
extermination until a recent law was enacted for their protection.
A portion of the island is a veritable rookery, the grotesque birds
standing guard all about the rocks. They are very awkward on land,
moving with a comical waddling stride, but on the wing are graceful,
rapid flyers. They dive and swim with ease, pursuing the fish in the
water, which, with crustaceans and insects, constitutes their food.

The Farrallones have become largely known from the wholesale collection
of the eggs of sea birds for market purposes. As they nest chiefly in
colonies, the eggs therefore being numerous, it has been, hitherto, a
considerable industry. The eggers starting together soon separate to
cover their various routes over the cliffs, the birds appearing in rows
all over the hill side. "As an egger climbs his familiar trail toward
the birds, a commotion becomes apparent among them. They jostle their
neighbors about the uneven rocks and now and then with open bills utter
a vain protest and crowd as far as possible from the intruder without
deserting their eggs. But they do not stay his progress and soon a
pair, then a group, and finally, as the fright spreads, the whole
vast rookery take wing toward the ocean. Instantly the Western Gulls
congregate with their hollow _kock-kock-ka_ and shrill cries adding to
the din, to secure their share of the booty, and the egger must then
work rapidly to secure the eggs."



"THE TALK OF ANIMALS."

[This is the title of an article from the _London Telegraph_, which is
so well written, and is so interesting that we cannot deny ourselves
the privilege of making liberal extracts from it.]--_Ed._


Naturalists have recently been discussing the interesting question
whether or not Bees can talk with each other. Those best informed
on the subject are, we gather, inclined to regard it as perfectly
possible. Such a view would, perhaps, astonish many minds not familiar
with these and others of the lower creatures by daily observation. Yet
the more people live in close notice of animals and insects the less
inclined they will feel to draw that very difficult line which divides
instinct from reason, or to set any hard and fast limit to the wonders
of Nature. In fact, the very word "lower" becomes sometimes an insult,
a positive affront to the wonderful life about us, which even proud
Man himself has scarcely a right to offer. There could, for instance,
be nothing well conceived humbler than the Earthworm. Until the
illustrious Darwin took up the subject of that despised being no one
comprehended the vastness of man's debt to this poor, ugly, trampled
creature. The numberless millions of that obscure tribe, none the
less, have created all the loam and all the arable land of the whole
globe, passing through their bodies the fallen leaves and decaying
vegetable matter; and by their single sphere of labor in this respect
rendering cultivation and harvests possible. When we tread on that Worm
we destroy an agricultural laborer of the most respectable class. To
those eternal and widespread toils of the creeping friend of men we owe
the woods, the meadows, and the flowers. This is, of course, only an
example of the importance, not of the faculties of the lower creatures.

Nevertheless even Worms communicate sufficiently to have and to
observe their seasons of love; and Bees are so much higher in the
scale of life, and so richly gifted in all details of their work, and
so sociable in their habits, that it would not be at all a safe thing
to say they possess no means of intercourse. Certainly no skillful
and watchful bee-master would ever venture upon such an assertion.
He knows very well how the sounds in the hive and those produced by
individual Bees vary from time to time, and in a manner which appears
to convey, occasionally at all events, mutual information. A Wasp or a
strange Bee entering a hive without permission seems mighty quickly to
hear something not very much to its advantage, and when two or three
Bees have found a good source of honey, how on earth do all the others
know which path to take through the trackless air, except by some
friendly buzz or wing-hint? Now, the bee-masters tell us that there is
surely one particular moment in the history of the hive when something
very much like actual language appears to be obviously employed. It
is when the young queen is nearly ready to move away. She begins to
utter a series of faint, staccato, piping noises, quite different from
her ordinary note, and just before she flies off this sound becomes
altered to a low, delicate kind of whistle, as if emanating from some
tiny fairy flute. How this small cry, or call, or signal, is produced
nobody understands. The major portion of sounds in a hive is, of
course, caused by the vibration more or less rapidly of the wings of
the Bees. But whoever has examined the delicate machinery with which
the Grass-hopper makes his chirp would not be surprised to find that
the queen Bee had also some peculiar contrivance by which to deliver
what may be called the royal speech on the one or two great and signal
occasions of her exemplary life.

We should, however, confine the subject in the boundary of far too
close a fancy if it were imagined that sound was the only way in
which speech and intercourse may pass among these humble creatures.
Human beings naturally gather up that idea by living themselves in
an atmosphere of which they agitate the waves for objects of mutual
communication. No scientific Bee or highly educated Ant, if such
creatures were possible, seeing and hearing men and women talk to each
other, would dream that they could equally well exchange thoughts by
making marks upon paper, or send their messages of love and business
by seas and lands through a quivering wire. Nay, if report is to
be believed, we are soon to be able to transmit, at a flash over
long distances, a face, a map, a plan, a picture, a whole page of a
newspaper, or an actual scene. As, therefore, those lower creatures, if
they indeed could hear us speak, would have no notion of how we make
the air waves into words, and still less grasp knowledge of any subtler
form among human intercourse, so it is not quite safe for man to think
and call all these strange families of the silent world alike dumb,
or to despise them for being free of grammars and dictionaries. As a
matter of fact, it is obvious that some power of mutual communication
assuredly comes to all creatures that live in societies. Nobody can
watch the flight of a flock of birds, the behavior of a herd of cattle,
or, lower down, the marvelous accommodations for common existence of
the small creeping and flying things, without perceiving that they
know each other's minds in some way or other in a very satisfactory
manner. Evidently there is, to begin with, a common language--a _lingua
franca_--of the fields and of the forests. All sportsmen know how the
particular cry of a frightened bird will put all the wild animals
on the alert who would otherwise quite disregard the bird's ordinary
note. And the evil success with which poachers can imitate the cries
of love and defiance from denizens of the woodlands, proves that its
inhabitants possess a vocabulary which can be stolen.

But, who, in truth, loving Dogs and Cats and such-like humble friends
ever can doubt their high intelligence and the strong and clear
significance attaching to certain among their habitual utterances?
Even London cab and cart Horses, though they cannot--fortunately for
some among us--speak, grow to understand the few invariable words of
direction which their drivers address to them. In the inferior orders
of life there are doubtless many other methods of intercourse, and
almost certainly there exists a plain and very useful language of
touch. Nobody can read the delightful researches of Sir John Lubbock
into the habits and customs of Ants without feeling persuaded that
those little beings transact their business perfectly well by touching
each other's antennæ. When Ants meet, a rapid passage of these
wonderful organs takes place, gliding like rapiers above and below, and
this quickly informs them whether they be friends or enemies, which is
the nearest respective road home, whether any food is to be procured
nigh at hand, and what is the general news in the formicatory world.
Truly it would be more desirable to learn what Bees talk about rather
than to discuss the problem whether they talk at all. The views of
Bees upon the purposes and colors of flowers, upon the moral duties of
frugality and loyalty, and as to the real meaning and lovliness of a
Rose, would be worth hearing. Of this much we may be all assured, that
the little things of the world evade our knowledge as much and are
quite as marvelous as the very largest and highest.



THE BUTTERFLY.

BY EMILY C. THOMPSON.


In the western part of England if the first Butterfly you see in the
spring is white and if you succeed in killing this Butterfly, good
luck will surely come to you. Some gentlemen on their way to church
one day saw a friend dashing down the road wildly brandishing a cane.
He could not stop to explain. He was as a rule a sedate, calm man,
so this excitement alarmed them. As nothing could be done, they went
on their way and soon met the father of their friend, an old man who
usually hobbled painfully along on two canes. He too was excited and
was doing his best to make his way down the road with only one cane.
His first words were, "I'm afraid he has missed it." "Missed what?"
thought the gentlemen, and finally after many efforts to quiet him
enough for conversation learned from the old man that his son had seen
his first butterfly, that it was white and that without more ado he had
snatched his old father's cane and set off in pursuit. Still the old
man was perfectly willing to hobble along as best he could, if only
good luck and prosperity could be procured by the slaughter of the
pretty little insect. The color of its wings is due to what seems to us
a fine dust scattered over them, but in reality this dust is made up of
little discs fastened by stalks to the wings, arranged usually in rows
somewhat like the shingles on a house.

Notice its two great round eyes and remember that each of these is
composed of thousands of perfect little eyes. Its trunk you will find
coiled up under its head and sometimes this Butterfly of ours completes
its toilet by opening its trunk and cleaning it. By the antennæ of the
Butterfly you can tell it from, the Moth, for those of the former
are immovable and furnished with knobs, while those of the other have
not the knobs and can be stowed away under the wings. If you wish to
distinguish the Butterfly from the Moth, remember this fact, and also
that Butterflies fly only in the daytime and always rest with the wings
erect. These facts are trustworthy, for no Moth has ever been found to
possess all three of these characteristics, though some do possess one
or two.

Though curious in itself, its life history is still more curious.
Man, in passing through his seven ages never loses the distinguishing
characteristics which make him a man, but our Butterfly as it passes
through its three ages changes so much that we seem, while studying
it to be studying three distinct creatures--the Caterpillar, the
Chrysalis, and the Butterfly.

In the Caterpillar our dainty little fairy presents itself as it
appears in its first stage, having just spent a few days, or a month,
or perhaps the whole winter in the egg. It changes its old skin many
times during its Caterpillar life of twenty or thirty days, at each
change gaining in weight and brilliancy, until with the last it appears
as a Chrysalis "a legless, mummy-like creature," which maintains its
suspended position by means of the hooks on its tail or by a silken
girth around its body. A few days before the Butterfly comes forth, it
can be seen through the thin cases. Finally the skin on the back bursts
open and the little insect is free. For a few minutes it stands with
drooping wings. Gradually the wings distend and in a short while reach
four times their original size. Then our Butterfly hastens away to
carry its joyful greeting to man and flower. So the cycle of Butterfly
life can thus be indicated: Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis, Butterfly,
Egg.

  [Illustration: BUTTERFLIES.--Life-size.
                 Terias nicippe.
                 Colias philodice.
                 Meganostoma eurydice (Male).

                 Papilio Photenus.
                 Limenitis ursula.
                 Papilio philolaus.

                 Terias mexicana.
                 Junoina Coenia.
                 Meganostoma eurydice (Female).]

Why they migrate is not known but evidence enough has been brought in
by eye witnesses to prove that this does occur. One flight seen in
Switzerland lasted for two hours, the continuous stream of insects
being ten or fifteen feet wide and made up of the species called the
Painted Lady. Similar companies have been seen at sea, as Mr. Darwin
bears witness, also before and after tornadoes in certain places. In
Ceylon a gentlemen drove through a cloud of white Butterflies for nine
miles. But very interesting to us, is a great migration recorded to
have been seen in our own country, in Massachusetts, about Oct. 1,
1876. These are strange stories, but really hardly more strange than
other facts about these little animals, graceful and beautiful in form
and motion, whose very presence adds greatly to the charm of mother
Nature.

Such quantities of eggs are laid by the Butterflies that if certain
animals did not contend against them, man would not be able to
withstand the ravages of the Caterpillar. Man has one powerful ally
in the birds which devour enormous quantities of these eggs, but a
still more powerful ally is the Ichneumon Fly. This little insect is
a parasite through its grub state and chooses as its host either the
egg of the Butterfly or the Caterpillar. The full grown Fly lays its
egg by means of an ovipositor, a sharp, hollow instrument with which
it can pierce the skin or shell of its victim. The eggs of the fly
hatch and the grubs feed upon the Caterpillar, but usually do not touch
upon its vital parts until it is full grown, then they devour them and
within the skin of their former host form their own cocoons. Sometimes
they wait until the Caterpillar assumes its Chrysalis state before
they finish their dread work, then much to the surprise of interested
beholders, a little cluster of flies appears at the breaking of the
cocoon, and no beautiful Butterfly.

Some of these brightly colored little messengers of gladness live
through the winter. Usually they pass this trying period wrapped warmly
in the cocoon or nestled under some leaf, still a Chrysalis; but a few
species weather the cold and the snow and, shut up in some hollow tree
or some empty shed, sleep away the happy days of Jack Frost and Santa
Claus and are ready to awake with the spring, when they are not abashed
in their bedraggled garments to appear among their brothers, who come
forth brightly clad, fresh from the soft, warm resting place of the
cocoon.

Perhaps the marvelous migration of Butterflies which occurred on Oct.
3, 1898, will be more interesting to us than those already mentioned
because it happened so recently and in our own country, and perhaps,
most of all, because the reason for flight is hazarded. The inhabitants
of Wichita, Kansas, at 3:15 o'clock in the afternoon of that day were
greeted with the sight of many Butterflies flying south. Gradually the
number increased until business practically ceased, the inhabitants
all turning out to view the brilliant spectacle. The stream of yellow
and brown insects, with the accompanying purr and brilliant effects of
fluttering wings flowed on until within a half an hour of sunset, and
even after this, millions of stragglers hastened southward. But you
are interested in the reason given? They say that our little friends
were driven away from their customary haunts by the forest fires in
Colorado. This is only one more supposition to add to the list already
awaiting some enterprising student, who shall at last solve the mystery
of these wonderful flights and fully acquaint us with all the other
interesting facts which our little Butterflies are still keeping
secret.



THE ARMADILLO.


All Armadillos bear the name Fatu in the South American Guarau Indian
language. Although the name is of Spanish origin the Indian term Fatu
has also been adopted in European languages, except in the single
case of the six-banded species. They are all of more or less similar
appearance and habits. They are natives of the southern American belt,
extending as far north as Mexico, and the specimen presented here was
taken in Texas, where it is occasionally found. The Armadillos are at
home in sparsely grown and sandy plains, and in fields on the edges of
woods, which, however, they never enter. During the breeding season
they consort together, but at all other times lead solitary lives and
show no regard for any living thing except as it may serve for food.

Singular as it may appear, Armadillos do not have a regular abiding
place, and they frequently change their homes. They can dig a hole in
the ground five or six feet deep with such expedition that they are
able to have several places of retreat. The hole is circular, at the
entrance from eight to twenty-four inches wide, and at the bottom is a
snug chamber large enough for them to turn around in. They are great
night rovers and seldom move about by daylight, the glaring sunlight
dazing them. When seen during the day it is always in rainy weather
when the sky is overcast. It has been shown that Armadillos excavate
their burrows under the hills of Ants or Termites, where they are able
to gather their principal food with the greatest convenience by day as
well as by night. Besides the foregoing they eat Caterpillars, Lizards,
and Earthworms and are thus advantageous to the husbandman. Plants also
constitute a part of their diet.

Armadillos are not agile but are remarkably muscular. It is said, to
avoid their enemies they can cut their way into the earth in places
which a hoe wielded by a strong man can pierce with difficulty. The
Fatu needs only three minutes to drive a tunnel exceeding the length
of its own body. The strongest man is incapable of pulling it out by
the tail. Once in its hole, it is always secure from Dogs. When it is
seized by Dogs, it never defends itself in any way. This is probably
not from cowardice, but because it believes itself secure from danger.

Best of all, the Armadillo is a useful animal. The Indians are fond of
nearly all the species. While it has an unpleasant odor of musk, it can
be prepared for the table; and some think it one of the most palatable
of dishes. One of the species can roll itself into a ball, which,
however, it does only in extremity.

In captivity Armadillos are usually put in cages with Monkeys, who, if
they do not precisely reduce them to servitude, at least use them as
playthings. The Monkeys ride their backs sportively, turn them over,
without the danger they might experience from Turtles, who are less
harmless, and cause them no end of worry. The Armadillo, with all
his coat of mail, has a fur lining on his belly, and the experienced
Dog quickly turns it over and makes short work of the apparently
invulnerable quadruped. The Dog quickly crunches the thin armour and
leaves the poor beast lifeless. Only the powerful digging claws which
might, one would think, be used in his own defense, remain to tell the
tale of the only means which nature has seemed to provide him with
against his enemies.

  [Illustration: From col. F. M. Woodruff.
                 ARMADILLO.
                 1/3 Life-size.
                 Copyright by
                 Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]



NATURE'S GROTESQUE.

(THE YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.)


This bird comedian is an actor, a mimic, and a ventriloquist; he
has been called "a rollicking polygot," "an eccentric acrobat," "a
happy-go-lucky clown, turning aerial somersaults," "a Punchinello
among birds," and from my own experience I can add that he is a
practical joker and "an artful dodger." His voice is absolutely unique
in its range. Besides his power as a ventriloquist, to throw it in
any direction, and so entice away from his nest any intruder upon his
domain, he possesses the most unequaled capacity for making queer
noises. On a certain summer day I was driving to Monticello, the
Virginia home of President Jefferson, along a beautiful road, bordered
by tall trees and a thick, leafy undergrowth where a thousand nests
might be safely hidden. All along a road the Chats called _chit_,
_chit_, or barked, whined, clucked, whistled, sang, chuckled and called
overhead, or out of the bushes beside us, always invisible, or just
giving a flutter to the leaves to show their presence. One of the party
declared one called _Kitty_, _Kitty!_ distinctly, and he also mimmicked
a puppy most successfully. Later on, in July, I was stopping near a
favorite haunt of the Chats; a country place on the edge of the woods,
where thickly growing shrubs and bushes filled the deep hollows between
the hills and near the streams. Here they had their broods, and not
only all day, but late in the evening by moonlight they could be heard,
making the whole place ring with their medley of sounds, while not a
feather of them could be seen.

Yet I finally succeeded in catching various glimpses of them, and in
equally characteristic, though different moods. First, I saw them
darting rapidly to and fro on foraging journeys, their bills filled
with food, for they are most admirable husbands and fathers, and
faithful to the nests that they hide with such care. They are beautiful
birds, rich olive-green above and a bright yellow below, with two
or three pure white lines or stripes about the eye and throat and a
"beauty spot" of black near the beak. I watched one balancing on a
slender twig near the water in the bright sunshine and his colors,
green and gold, fairly glittered. His nest is usually near the ground
in the crotch of a low branch and is a rather large one, woven of bark
in strips, coarse grass and leaves, and lined with finer grass for the
three or four white eggs, adorned with small reddish-brown spots. One
pair had their home near a blackberry thicket, and they might be seen
gobbling berries and peeping at you with bright black eyes all the
while.

The Chat excels in extraordinary and absurd pose; wings fluttering,
tail down, legs dangling like a Stork, he executes all kinds of tumbles
in the air. It is said that a Chat courtship is a sight never to be
forgotten by the lucky spectator. Such somersaults, such songs, such
queer jerks and starts. Our bird is one of the Wood Warbler family, a
quiet and little known group of birds. His elusiveness and skill in
hiding, and his swift movements, are his only traits in common with
them.

                                        ELLA F. MOSBY.

       *       *       *       *       *

In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant,
it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out and see
her riches and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.--MILTON.



THE RED-HEAD DUCK.


In many points of structure and habits Sea Ducks, of which this is a
specimen, may be distinguished from Fresh Water Ducks by the presence
of a lobe or little flap of skin on the lower side of the hind toe. The
legs of the former are also placed farther behind, and they are thus
better fitted for swimming, though not so well adapted for walking or
running on land. The feathers of Sea Ducks are more dense also, and
they are all provided with a quantity of thick down next to the skin,
which is of no small commercial value.

The difference in the habits of the two species is no less striking.
The latter dive for their food, which the former never do; they are
chiefly maritime in their distribution, although all, or nearly all,
retire to fresh water lakes to raise their young.

The Red-head is said not to be common along the coast of New England,
but in the winter months is found in considerable numbers along the
south shore of Long Island. It is extremely abundant south of that
point, and particularly so in Chesapeake Bay, where immense numbers
are killed each season. Where it is enabled to feed on the well known
wild celery its flesh is said to be fully equal in flavor to that of
the Canvas Back. Both in spring and fall it is an extremely abundant
migrant in the Western States. It generally reaches northern Illinois,
says Hallock, in its spring passage about the last of March, remaining
until the latter part of April. On its return journey late in October,
it remains on the rivers, lakes, and sloughs until the cold weather,
by freezing up its feeding grounds, forces it to go farther south. It
is altogether probable that a few of these birds breed in the Rocky
Mountain regions within the limits of the United States, but they
usually continue northward to their regular breeding grounds, which
extend from Wisconsin, Michigan, and others of the northern tier of
states, to the fur countries.

The Red-head was found nesting on the St. Clair Flats, Michigan, by
Mr. W. H. Collins, who, in describing some of its breeding habits,
says: "I had the good fortune to find two nests of this bird containing
respectively seven and eight eggs. The first was placed on some drifted
rushes on a sunken log, and was composed of flags and rushes evidently
taken from the pile of drift upon the log, as they were short pieces,
so short, in fact, that the nest when lifted with the hands fell in
pieces. The nest was four inches deep and lined with down from the
female. This nest contained seven fresh eggs of a creamy color, varied
in measurements and of a uniform oval shape, very little smaller at one
end. The other nest was built similar to a Coot's nest; that is, of
flags and grass interwoven at the base of a bunch of flags growing in
water three or four feet deep. It was built in such a way that the nest
would rise and fall with the water."

The food of the Red-head consists of mollusks, shell-fish, and the
seeds and roots of aquatic plants.

  [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                 CHICAGO COLORTYPE CO. CHIC & NEW YORK
                 RED HEADED DUCK.
                 1/3 Life-size.
                 Copyright by
                 Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]



BIRDS IN GARDEN AND ORCHARD.


During the last year I have received quite a number of letters from
all over the United States, inquiring why so few birds are found about
the homes, among the ornamental shrubs and trees, and in the orchard.
My correspondents also wish to know how our beautiful native songsters
can be induced to take up their residence in the neighborhood of man.
As the many inquiries came from the East, the West, the North, and the
South, I shall treat the subject in the following manner:

The northern, eastern, and central states show but little difference
as to their bird-life, and there is also little diversity in regard to
the ornamental trees and shrubs of the gardens. The region included is
bounded on the north by the British possessions, on the east by the
Atlantic ocean, on the west by the Rocky mountains, and on the south by
the Indian Territory, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. While
living in the country I have always had birds at my home and in the
neighborhood, and I shall, therefore, give my own experience.

Birds settle only where they find the surroundings perfectly congenial,
and where they are protected and consequently feel safe; where dense
shrubbery, evergreens, and deciduous trees abound, and where water and
suitable nesting material are near at hand. In one garden they are
exceedingly numerous, while in another one close by, only a few pairs,
perhaps, are to be found. When protected, they soon learn to regard man
as their friend. Their enemies, especially Cats, Squirrels, and Owls,
must not be allowed to rove about in the garden and orchard, and such
thieves and robbers as the Blue Jay, the Loggerhead Shrike or Butcher
Bird, and that abominable tramp and anarchist among birds, the English
Sparrow, should never be tolerated in a garden or park where other
birds are expected to make their homes.

In the days of my boyhood the groves re-echoed with the songs of many
birds; the woods, however, have been cleared away, and in the poor
remnants of the once magnificent forests there are few birds to be
found today. The sweet notes of the Veery, the thundering sounds of
the Ruffed Grouse, the loud hammering of the Pileated Woodpecker, are
no longer heard. I have devoted much time to erecting bird houses and
planting ornamental trees and shrubs for the accommodation of the
birds. Here they soon took up their residences. On the top of the barn
and granary Martin boxes were placed, and in the gables of the barn
holes were cut to admit the pretty Barn Swallow and the Phoebe. Among
the first birds to settle were the Robins and Bluebirds, both heralds
of spring, appearing in the last days of March or early in April
from their winter homes in our Southern States. The Baltimore Oriole
suspended its beautiful hanging nest from a high horizontal branch of
a Walnut tree. The Cedar Bird, quiet and retired in its habits, and
a most beautiful denizen of the garden, placed its nest constructed
of sheep's wool on a low horizontal branch of an Oak. The sprightly
Canary-like song of the American Goldfinch, often called the Wild
Canary, was heard throughout the summer, and its cozy little nest,
lined warmly with thistle-down, was placed in the upright exterior
branches of a Sugar Maple. In the same tree, but lower down on a
horizontal branch the exquisite pendulous nest of the Red-eyed Vireo
was now and then found. This Vireo is an incessant songster as it
gleans among the upper branches of the trees.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak invariably nested in a clump of dense wild
Crab-apple trees, partly overgrown with grape vines. Another inhabitant
of the grove not easily overlooked, is the bold Kingbird, the guardian
of the barnyard, its nest saddled on a rather strong moss-covered limb
of another Oak. I could mention a number of other birds that build
their nests near the dwellings of man, but space will not permit me to
do so. I will add, however, that if my readers would have about them
these beautiful and useful birds, which are almost the best friends of
mankind, don't allow English Sparrows to come near your home, and you
will soon find yourself in the midst of the songsters. The incredible
numbers of English Sparrows now found almost everywhere have driven our
native birds away.

                                        --JOS. F. HONECKER,
                                                    Oak Forest, Ind.



GOLDENROD.


    Spring is the morning of the year,
      And Summer is the noontide bright;
    The Autumn is the evening clear
      That comes before the Winter's night.

    And in the evening, everywhere
      Along the roadside, up and down,
    I see the golden torches flare
      Like lighted street-lamps in the town.

    I think the Butterfly and Bee,
      From distant meadows coming back,
    Are quite contented when they see
      These lamps along the homeward track.

    But those who stay too late get lost;
      For when the darkness falls about,
    Down every lighted street the frost
      Will go and put the torches out!

                                        --_Frank Dempster Sherman._

  [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                 GOLDEN ROD.
                 4/5 Life-size.
                 Copyright by
                 Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]



OCTOBER.


    Ay, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath,
        When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
        And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
      And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
      Wind of the sunny south! oh still delay,
        In the gay woods and in the golden air,
        Like to a good old age released from care,
      Journeying, in long serenity, away.
      In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
        Might wear out life like thee, mid bowers and brooks,
        And, dearest yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
      And music of kind voices ever nigh;
      And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
      Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.

                                        ----BEZANT.


    October days are stealing
      All swiftly on their way;
    The squirrels now are working,
      The leaves are out at play;
    The busy, busy children
      Are gathering nuts so brown,
    And birds are gaily planning
      A winter out of town.

                                        ----CLARA L. STRONG.



FROM "CONSTANTINOPLE."

EDMONDO DE AMICIS.


Constantinople has one grace and gayety peculiar to itself, that comes
from an infinite number of birds of every kind, for which the Turks
nourish a warm sentiment and regard. Mosques, groves, old walls,
gardens, palaces all resound with song, the whistling and twittering of
birds; everywhere wings are fluttering and life and harmony abound. The
sparrows enter the houses boldly, and eat out of women's and children's
hands, Swallows nest over the café doors, and under the arches of the
bazaars; Pigeons in innumerable swarms, maintained by legacies from
sultans and private individuals, form garlands of black and white along
the cornices of the cupolas and around the terraces of the minarets;
Sea-gulls dart and play over the water; thousands of Turtle-doves coo
amorously among the cypresses in the cemeteries; Crows croak about the
Castle of the Seven Towers; Halcyons come and go in long files between
the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmora; and Storks sit upon the cupolas
of the mausoleums. For the Turk, each one of these birds has a gentle
meaning, or a benignant virtue: Turtle-doves are favorable to lovers,
Swallows keep away fire from the roofs where they build their nests,
Storks make yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, Halcyons carry the souls of
the faithful to Paradise. Thus he protects and feeds them, through a
sentiment of gratitude and piety; and they enliven the house, the sea,
and the sepulchre. Every quarter of Stamboul is full of the noise of
them, bringing to the city a sense of the pleasures of country life,
and continually relishing the soul with a reminder of nature.

There are several kinds of animals, points out Cosmos, that have
never swallowed water. Among these are the Lamas of Patagonia and
certain Gazelles of the far east, and a considerable number of
reptiles--Serpents, Lizards, and certain Batrachians--that live and
flourish where there is no moisture. A kind of Mouse of the arid plains
of western America also exists where moisture is said to be unknown.
In the London Zoological Gardens a Paroquet lived fifty-two years
without drinking a drop, and some naturalists believe that Hares take
no liquid except the dew that sometimes forms on the grass they eat.
Even Cows and Goats in France, in the neighborhood of the Lozère,
almost never drink, yet they produce the milk from which is made the
famous Roquefort cheese.



ANIMALS AND MUSIC.


One of our poets is authority for the statement that "music hath power
to sooth the savage breast," but experiments have recently been made in
Lincoln Park, Chicago, _The American Naturalist_ tells us, to determine
with scientific accuracy the effects of violin playing on certain
animals.

"Music which was slow and sweet, like 'Home, Sweet Home' or 'Annie
Laurie,' pleased the Panthers, a Jaguar, and a Lioness with her cubs.
The Panthers became nervous and twitched their tails when a lively jig,
'The Irish Washerwoman,' was played to them, and relapsed into their
former quiet when the music again became soothing.

"The Jaguar was so nervous during the jig music that he jumped from a
shelf to the floor of his cage and back again. When the player ceased
playing and walked away, the Jaguar reached out his paw to him as far
as he could. His claws were drawn back.

"The Lioness and her cubs were interested from the first, though
when the violinist approached the cage the mother gave a hiss, and
the cubs hid behind her. At the playing of a lively jig, the cubs
stood up on their hind legs and peeped over at the player. When the
musician retreated from the cage, the animals came to the front of
it and did not move back when he gradually drew so near as almost to
touch the great paws which were thrust through the bars. When playing
'Home, Sweet Home,' the entire family seemed very attentive, and were
motionless except that the cubs turned their heads from side to side.
Then another jig was played and the cubs pranced about."

"The Coyotes in a den, squatted in a semicircle, and sat silently
while the music continued. When it ceased, they ran up and pawed at
the player through the bars. He began afresh, and they again formed in
a silent semicircle. This experiment was tried several times with the
same results."

Of late years the Sea Gulls have found it so much to their interest
to come up to the Thames in our midst that their graceful evolutions
around the crowded bridges in ever growing flocks has almost ceased
to excite notice. But this year, as never before, they have descended
upon the water of St. James Park in such great numbers that their
presence must considerably exercise the minds of those responsible for
the welfare of the other wild fowl there. They may be seen sometimes
resting upon the surface of the eastern half of the lake in sufficient
number almost to hide the water. And at the luncheon hour, when
released workers throng bank and bridge, bestowing upon the water the
scanty fragments of their frugal meals, the gulls, on ready wing, with
an agility born of long practice over stormy seas, give the clumsier
Ducks and Geese hard work to obtain even a small share of what is
going. Not so long ago a piece of plain bread might often float uneaten
until it sank waterlogged for the benefit of the fish. It is so no
longer. No crumb now goes a-begging or is scouted by any of the old
habitues as beneath their notice.--

                                        _London Paper._



SUMMARY.


Page 126.

=KINGBIRD OF PARADISE.=--_Cincinnurus regius._

RANGE--New Guinea and the neighboring islands.

----

Page 130.

=PECCARY.=--_Dicotyles torquatus._

RANGE--From Arkansas to Brazil. This specimen was taken in Texas.

----

Page 134.

=BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHIN.=--_Tursiops tursio._

RANGE--Arctic ocean and the north of the Atlantic.

----

Page 138.

=TUFTED PUFFIN.=--_Lunda cirrhata._ Other name: Sea Parrot.

RANGE--Coasts and islands of the north Pacific, from California to
Alaska, and from Japan to Bering Strait. Accidental on the coast of
Maine.

NEST--In crevices of rocks, often without lining.

EGG--One.

----

Page 147.

=ARMADILLO.=--_Tatusia novemcincta._ Other name Peba.

RANGE--From Texas to Paraguay.

----

Page 151.

=RED-HEADED DUCK.=--_Aythya americana._

RANGE--North America in general, breeding from California, Wisconsin,
and Maine, northward.

NEST--On low grassy grounds near the water.

EGGS--Seven to ten, grayish white to pale greenish buff; oval in form.

----

Page 155.

=GOLDENROD.=--_Solidago Virga-aurea._ The name is common to all the
species of the genus _Solidago_.



  +----------------------------------------------------------------- +
  | Transcriber's Note:                                              |
  |                                                                  |
  | Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.     |
  |                                                                  |
  | Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant |
  | form was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.    |
  |                                                                  |
  | Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.            |
  |                                                                  |
  | The Butterflies illustration has been moved from page 143 to     |
  | page 145.                                                        |
  |                                                                  |
  | Duplicated section headings have been omitted.                   |
  |                                                                  |
  | Italicized words are surrounded by underline characters,         |
  | _like this_. Words in bold characters are surrounded by equal    |
  | signs,  =like this=.                                             |
  |                                                                  |
  | The Contents table was added by the transcriber.                 |
  +------------------------------------------------------------------+





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