The Project Gutenberg eBook of Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, Vol. 3, No. 5

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Title: Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, Vol. 3, No. 5

Author: Various

Release date: November 4, 2014 [eBook #47280]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Joseph Cooper, Keith Edkins,
some images courtesy of The Internet Archive and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at




Vol. III. MAY, 1898. No. 5.


"No ladder needs the bird, but skies

To situate its wings,

Nor any leader's grim baton

Arraigns it as it sings.

The implements of bliss are few—

As Jesus says of Him,

'Come unto me,' the moiety

That wafts the cherubim."

Emily Dickinson.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agnes Stewart.

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




NCE on a time an old red hen

Went strutting around with pompous clucks,

For she had little babies ten,

A part of which were tiny ducks;

"'Tis very rare that hens," said she,

"Have baby ducks, as well as chicks;

But I possess, as you can see,

Of chickens four and ducklings six!"

A season later, this old hen

Appeared, still cackling of her luck,

For though she boasted babies ten,

Not one among them was a duck!

"'Tis well," she murmured, brooding o'er

The little chicks of fleecy down,

"My babies now will stay ashore,

And, consequently, cannot drown!"

The following spring the old red hen

Clucked just as proudly as of yore;

But lo! her babies were ducklings ten,

Instead of chickens, as before!

"'Tis better," said the old red hen,

As she surveyed her waddling brood,

"A little water, now and then,

Will surely do my darlings good!"

But, oh! alas, how very sad!

When gentle spring rolled round again,

The eggs eventuated bad,

And childless was the old red hen!

Yet, patiently she bore her woe,

And still she wore a cheerful air,

And said: "'Tis best these things are so,

For babies are a dreadful care!"

I half suspect that many men,

And many, many women too,

Could learn a lesson from the hen,

With foliage of vermilion hue.

She ne'er presumed to take offence

At any fate that might befall,

But meekly bowed to Providence.—

She was contented—that was all!

Eugene Field.



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

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

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

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. SOUTH AMERICAN RHEA.
⅛ Life-size.
Copyright by Nature Study
Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. BAY BREASTED WARBLER.
Copyright by Nature Study
Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.


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

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

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

"Have you walked beneath the blossoms in the spring?

In the spring?

Beneath the apple blossoms in the spring?

When the pink cascades are falling,

And the silver brooklets bawling,

And the Warbler bird soft calling,

In the spring?"



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

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

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. BLACK-NECKED STILT.
½ Life-size.
Copyright by Nature Study
Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

C. C. M.



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

Pin-tail, Sprig-tail, Sharp-tail, Water Pheasant. I am known by all of these names, though people only use one at a time, I believe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. PIN-TAIL DUCK.
⅓ Life-size.
Copyright by Nature Study
Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Duck is bad when appetite

Waits on digestion.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. DOUBLE YELLOW-HEADED PARROT.
½ Life-size.
Copyright by Nature Study
Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.


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

* * * *

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

* * * *

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




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

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

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


"O little bird of restless wing,

Why dost thou sing so sweet and loud?

Why dost thou sing so strong and proud?

Why dost thou sing?"

"Oh I have drunk the wine of spring,

My mate hath built a nest with me:

My hope flames out in song," said he,

"I can but sing."

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. MAGNOLIA WARBLER.
Copyright by Nature Study
Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.



O the deep woods

They haste away, all as their fancy leads,

Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;

That nature's great command may be obeyed,

Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive

Indulged in vain. Some to the holly hedge

Nestling, repair, and to the thicket, some;

Some to the rude protection of the thorn

Commit their feeble offspring; the cleft tree

Offers its kind concealment to a few,

Their food its insects, and its moss their nests;

Others apart, far in the grassy dale

Or roughening waste their humble texture weave;

But most in woodland solitudes delight,

In unfrequented glooms or shaggy banks,

Steep, and divided by a babbling brook,

Whose murmurs soothe them all the livelong day,

When by kind duty fixed. Among the roots

Of hazel pendent o'er the plaintive stream,

They frame the first foundation of their domes,

Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,

And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought

But restless hurry through the busy air,

Beat by unnumbered wings. The swallow sweeps

The slimy pool, to build his hanging house

Intent; and often from the careless back

Of herds and flocks a thousand tugging bills

Steal hair and wool; and oft when unobserved,

Pluck from the barn a straw; till soft and warm,

Clean and complete, their habitation grows.

As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,

Not to be tempted from her tender task

Or by sharp hunger or by smooth delight,

Though the whole loosened spring around her blows,

Her sympathizing lover takes his stand

High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless sings

The tedious time away; or else supplies

Her place a moment, while she suddenly flits

To pick the scanty meal.

James Thomson.



Grotesque and tall, he stands erect,

Where the reed-riffle swirls and gleams.

Grave, melancholy, circumspect—

A hermit of the streams.—Ernest McGaffey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. GREAT BLUE HERON.
15 Life-size.
Copyright by Nature Study
Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.


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

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

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

Like some other birds I have more than one name. Blue Crane, Little Blue, Little Crane, Skimmer, and Scissorsbill. Some people call me "gawky." Is that a name, too?

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. EGGS.
Copyright by Nature Study
Pub. Co., 1898. Chicago.

1. Great Crested Fly-catcher.

2. King Bird.

3. Night Hawk.

4. Crow.

5. Red-headed Woodpecker.

6. Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

7. Audubon's Caracara.

8. Black-billed Magpie.

9. Kingfisher.

10. Screech Owl.

11. Turkey Vulture.

12. Gamble's Partridge.

13. Bob White.



By Elanora Kinsley Marble.

Under the eaves in an old tin pot,

Six little birds lie in a nest;

The mother bird broods them with her wings,

And her downy-feathered breast.

With "coos" and "chirps" she tells her love

As human mothers do,

Says "tootsy, wootsy, mammy's dove,

And papa's tootsy, too."

Pierre gazed after Bridget with a perplexed look.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"There, there!" said Mr. Wren, caressing her with his bill, "time enough to cross the stream when we come to it. Our landlord will protect {198}his tenants, I am sure, so sit here and croon a lullaby to the baby while I go to market. I heard of a place yesterday where I can get some of those delicious thousand legs of which you are so fond. Ta, ta, love," and away he flew, fully alive to the fact of another mouth in the home-nest to feed.

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

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

"What story?" tenderly inquired Mr. Wren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Do be good children while I am gone," she would entreat, when ready for market, "do keep your heads inside of the house. Pierre, put your head down in the nest instantly, do {199}you hear me!" and little Mrs. Wren would stand on the edge of the tin-pot and fussily cry krup, up, up, which in Wren language means, you naughty, naughty, birds.

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

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

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

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

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

Presently Bobbie raised his head and peeped out.

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

Pierre looked a little sheepish.

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

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

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

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

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




Page 166.

SOUTH AMERICAN RHEA.Rhea americana. Other name: "Ostrich."

Range—Paraguay and southern Brazil through the State of La Plata to Patagonia.

Nest—In the ground, dug by the female with her feet.

Eggs—Twenty and upwards.

Page 170.

BAY-BREASTED WARBLER.Dendroica castanea. Other name: "Autumnal Warbler."

Range—Eastern North America, westward to Hudson Bay; south in winter to Central America.

Nest—Of fine shreds of bark, small twigs, roots, and pine hair.

Eggs—Four, white, with bluish tinge, finely speckled on or round the larger end.

Page 174.

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

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

Nest—Small sticks and roots, in the grass on the margin of a lake or river.

Eggs—Three or four, greenish-yellow.

Page 178.

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

Range—Nearly the entire northern hemisphere, breeding chiefly far northward, in North {201}America, migrating south in winter as far as Panama and Cuba.

Nest—In tall bunches of prairie grass, seldom far from water.

Eggs—Eight or nine, of a dull grayish olive.

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Range—Eastern coast of Mexico.

Nest—In holes of trees.


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MAGNOLIA WARBLER.Dendroica maculosa. Other name: "Black and Yellow Warbler."

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

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

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

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

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

Nest—In high trees along rivers, or in the depths of retired swamps.

Eggs—Commonly three or four, of a plain greenish blue.