• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The robin
 The sparrow
 The bobolink
 The heron
 The dove
 The peacock
 The crane
 The flamingo
 The humming bird
 The vulture
 The blue bird
 The bird of paradise
 The ostrich
 The rooster and the hen
 The eagle
 The swan
 The carrier pigeon
 The owl
 The quail
 The bittern
 The basket-maker
 The bustard
 The starling
 The swallow
 The bulfinch
 The woodpecker
 The parrot
 The rook
 The partridge
 The bee eater
 The snow-bird
 Advertising






Group Title: A peep at the birds : with forty engravings
Title: A peep at the birds
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003593/00001
 Material Information
Title: A peep at the birds with forty engravings
Alternate Title: Uncle Frank's peep at the birds
Physical Description: 142 p. : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Woodworth, Francis C ( Francis Channing ), 1812-1859
Bowen, Abel, 1790-1850 ( Engraver )
Howland, Henry J ( Henry Jenkins ), 1810-1897 ( Engraver )
Phillips, Sampson & Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: Phillips, Sampson
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1851
 Subjects
Subject: Birds -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Uncle Frank.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements: <2> p. at end.
General Note: Ill. of eagle engraved by A. Bowen, and ill. with snow bird song engraved by Howland <Henry J. Howland?>.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003593
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002240022
oclc - 08099656
notis - ALJ0561
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Frontispiece
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    The robin
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    The sparrow
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    The bobolink
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    The heron
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    The dove
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    The peacock
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    The crane
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    The flamingo
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    The humming bird
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    The vulture
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    The blue bird
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    The bird of paradise
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    The ostrich
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    The rooster and the hen
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
    The eagle
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    The swan
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    The carrier pigeon
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    The owl
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    The quail
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    The bittern
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The basket-maker
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    The bustard
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    The starling
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    The swallow
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    The bulfinch
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    The woodpecker
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    The parrot
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    The rook
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
    The partridge
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    The bee eater
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    The snow-bird
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    Advertising
        Page 143
        Page 144
Full Text
























N V 'N
CANARY BIRDS AND NEST.






A



PEEP AT THE BIRDS.



Vitj fartq 4ugruings.



BY UNCLE FRANK,
AUOB 0or u"WILLOW LAU n ," 0," C~'1"B n.mL
01or 0o Vin.LLAGa," i., na






BOSTON:
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO.
PUBLISHERS.























Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
FRANCIS C. WOODWORTH,
In the Clerk's Oice of the District Court of the United States, for the
Southern District of New York.











0



















PAGQ
THE ROBIN, .. 9
THE SPARROW, 13
THE BOBOLINK, 1
THE HERON, 21
THE DOVE,. 25
THE PEACOCK, 29
THE CRANE, 33
THE FLAMINGO, 37
THE HUMMING BIRD, 41
THE VULTURE, 45
THE BLUE BIRD, 49
THE BIRD OF PARADISE, 53







CONTENTS.


THE OSTRICH, 57
THE ROOSTER AND THE HEN, 61
THE EAGLE, *. .* 69
THE SWAN, 73
THE PIGEON, 77
THE OWL, 81
THE QUAIL,. 85
THE BITTERN, 89
THE BASKET MAKER, 93
THE BUSTARD, 97
THE STARLING, 101
THE SWALLOW, .. 105
THE BULFINCH, 113
THE WOODPECKER, 121
THE ROOK, .. 125
THE PARTRIDGE, .. 129
THE BEE EATER, .. 133
TlE SNOw BIRD, 137


vi
















































THE ROBIN.


E Al





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


How I do love the robin. He is one
of the very first birds that come to see us
in the spring. The blue bird comes a
little sooner, it may be, biut not much.
The robin likes to build a nest in an
apple tree. He does not seem to care
how near he gets to the house. Some
birds are afraid to come near the house.
But the robin is not afraid. When his
nest is built, and there are three or four
young robins in the nest, you will see the
father, every day, and perhaps a good


9






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


many times in a day, come close to the
door, to pick up the crumbs that are
thrown out of the house. And what do
you think he does with these crumbs?
Eat them himself? No, he does not eat
them. He carries them to the nest
where his mate is, and where his little
ones are, and gives the crumbs to them.
Sometimes you will see him tripping
along in a field that. has just been
ploughed. He is after worms; for young
robins like worms, too, quite as well as
they do crumbs of bread and cake.
When the .father has fed his family, he
sits on the tree, near the nest, and sings
his sweet and cheerful song.


10




































THE SPARROW.





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THIS is a little fellow. But we must
not pass him by, in our peep at the birds.
Did you ever see a ground sparrow's
nest? The ground sparrow has her nest
in the grass. The eggs are very small,
and spotted. Last summer, I was at Cro-
ton Falls, and a young friend of mine
who lives there took me out into the field
near the house, to show me the nest of a
little ground sparrow. There were four
eggs in the nest, she said. ILwent to see
the nest. But some one had been there,


13






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


and trod on it. The dear little eggs
were all broken. The poor sparrows!
how I pitied them. When they saw
that the eggs were broken, and the nest
spoiled, how sad they must have been.
I do not believe that-the person who trod
on the nest meant to do it. I think he
did not see the nest. It seems so cruel
to spoil the nest of such pretty little birds.
I cannot love those boys and girls who
rob birds' nests. It is a bad sign to see
children do such things. It looks as if
they had not a kind heart. I should be
afraid that a boy who robbed birds' nests
would not be good to his mother, and
sister, and playmates.


a


14






























































I




































r











































THE BOBOLINK.





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THIS bird has a queer name. But he
is a queer chap, and ought to have a
queer name, perhaps. You will see him
in the meadow, in the months of June
and July, about the time the grass is fit
to mow. Oh what a funny song he has.
I have laughed, many a time, when I
have heard it. I could not help laugh-
ing, the bobolink's song was such an odd
one. Some of you have heard it; and
you can tell as well as I can what sort of
a song it is. I say you can tell as well


17






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


as I can. I cannot tell very easily. I
have tried to sing it myself, a hundred
times; but I could not make out so as to
suit me. He begins quite slowly. You
would think, if you did not know all
about his funny ways, that he was almost
asleep at first. He begins as if he was
singing a psalm tune. But very soon; he
sings a little faster-then a little faster
still-and so on, until his notes come out
as fast as you can think. It is very diffi-
cult to shoot the bobolink. He sees the
flash of the gun, generally, and dodges
before the shot reach the. spot where
he is sitting. I was always glad of
that; for it seems a pity to kill such a
bird.


18












V


THE HERON.


r





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THIS bird, with the long neck and legs,
is very fond of fishing; and he will catch
a great many sun fish in a day, if you
will let him go to a pond where they are.
If a pond is not very deep, and there are
a good many herons in that part of the
country, the smaller kinds of fish, such as
sun fish, and perch, will all be caught in
a little while. The heron is so quick in
darting at the fish that the fish has no
time to get away. Sometimes peo-
ple take a sun fish, or some other little


21





22 PEEP AT THE BIRDS.

fish, and put a hook in it, and throw it
into the pond, with a line tied to the fish.
Then, when the heron comes along, look-
ing out for his breakfast, he sees the little
sun fish, and thinks he will catch him.
He does not know anything about the
hook in the fish's mouth. So he darts at
the fish, and catches him by the head.
Then, just as likely as not, Mr. Heron
finds that he is caught, too, as well as the
sun fish.




















TAME DOVES.


I
do~f


,14~1





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


IT is a petty sight to see a family of
doves around the house. Boys and girls
who live in the country can see just as
many birds as they want to see, every
day. But city children cannot see many,
unless they are shut up in cages. They
can see the doves, though;. for doves live
in the city, as well as in the country.
Some people in the city have houses
built for the doves, and the doves come
and live in these houses. I do love to
see the dear creatures flying about in the


25






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


city. They are sometimes very tame.
They will alight on the pavement, to
pick up something good to eat which has
been thrown out of the housed; and while
they are walking around, I have often
come so near them, that I could almost
touch them with my hand, before they
flew away.

O how I love
The pretty dove;
How smooth and fair
His feathers are.
And do you know
Who made him so ?


26
















































-THE PEACOCK.






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THE peacock acts as if he thought
everybody was looking at him, and ad-
miring his beauty. He is rather a,pretty
bird, to be sure. But why need he be so
proud of it ? He acts as if beauty was
worth more than everything else. But
he is mistaken. There is the peacock's
friend, the swan. He does not seem to
be very proud. I don't believe he is half
so proud as the peacock. But he has a-
great deal more to be proud of. He is a
much more useful fowl than the peacock.






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


As for his looks, to be sure, he is rather
awkward, when he is walking on the
ground. But just let him get into the
water, and then look at him. He moves
prettily on the water. The peacock
could not swim like him. I don't be-
lieve he could swim at all. Pride, my
little friend, has a bad look, wherever
you see it. It looks bad in the peacock,
and it looks bad in a little boy or a little
girl. The peacock is proud of his dress.
That is the most foolish of all pride.
How I do hate to see a girl proud of the
dress she has on.



















I
r


TIE CRANE.


i/J/
k





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THE crane, you see, has a long neck
and legs, like the heron. I suppose I
need not tell you why he is made so.
You will say, in a moment, when you see
his picture, that it is so as to fit him for
getting the food which he likes. He can
eat grain; but he is more fond of such
insects as live in the mud than he is of
anything else. And 'he has long legs
made for him, so that he can wade in the
water, and a long neck and bill, so that
he can reach down into the mud, to get


33





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


his food. Cranes fly in large flocks.
They have a leader, who is a sort of cap-
tain. He gives his orders to the rest of
the flock. At night, when they are on
the ground, they have sentinels to keep
watch, while the rest go to sleep. If
there is any danger, the sentinels make a
noise which wakes them all up; and
away they fly into the air. When cranes
get old, so that they cannot take care of
themselves, the young ones help them.
They get food for them, and see that no-
body hurts them. You will all love
the young cranes for that, I am sure.


34










THE FLAMINGO.


(d:





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THIS bird is not common in our coun-
try. Those that are here, have been
brought here from some other part of the
world. I never saw but one live flam-
ingo. He was kept in a little park,
called the Bowling Green, in the lower
part of the city of New York. Every-
body that went by stopped to look at this
strange bird. His feathers were pretty.
But there was not much else about him
that was pretty. When he stood up, and
held his head up in the air, as high as he


37






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


could, he was as tall as a man. His
color was scarlet. He did not live many
weeks after he was put into the park. I
was sorry when he died, and everybody
was sorry. The flamingoes get together
in large flocks, in their own country;
and they look like soldiers, when they
are standing on the ground. Sometimes
people think they are soldiers, if they see
them when they are a good way off.
When they are hungry, they go to a river,
or pond, and wade into the water, and
catch small fish and insects with their
bills. You see they can wade in pretty
deep water, if they wish, they have got
such long legs.


38






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THERE he comes-the pretty little
humming bird. He has alighted on a
flower in the garden. No, he has not
alighted. But he looks as if he had, he
is so still. He has thrust his long bill
into one of those flowers, to get honey or
insects, I hardly know which. There!
he is off again. Is he going to fly away
now? Let us see. No. He has gone
to another flower. How fast his wings
move. Dear little thing! I can see
him plainer now. See! he is coming


41






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


close up to the window. How handsome
he is. I never saw so pretty a creature
in all my life, I am sure. Now he has
got through with that flower. He will
go to another, I guess. No. Little
humming bird, don't go away yet. Do
stay a little while longer. I have not
seen you half long enough. But he will
not stay. Does he see me, I wonder?
and is he afraid of me ? I would not
hurt him, if he came close to me. I
would not hurt him, and my little sister
would not hurt him. I wish he would
stay. But he is going. There he goes.
Dear little humming bird, come again to-
morrow, will you not? How quick he is
out of sight.


42


















I'


1/s.
4


I 4


THE VULTURE.


Ilktll





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


HERE is a bird who has very filthy
habits. Vultures feed on carrion. Some-
times, when they are very hungry, and
they cannot get food in any other way,
a company of them will kill a horse or
a cow. But generally they live on ani-
mals which somebody else has killed, or
which have died a natural death. In
some parts of the world there is a law
that no one shall kill a vulture; and if a
person kills one, he has to pay a fine, and
perhaps he is shut up in prison. The


45






46 PEEP AT THE BIRDS.

reason for this is, that the vultures do a
great deal of good. They eat all the
dead carcasses they find, and so they
help to keep the air from being impure.
People who are all the time finding fault
with others, and finding out their failings,
make me think of the vulture-they seem
to take so much pleasure in finding out
all that is impure and bad.

What are another's faults to me ?
I've not a vulture's bill,
To pick at every flaw I see,
And make it wider still.
It is enough for me to know
I've follies of my own,
And on my heart its care bestow,
And let my friends alone."














































THE BLUE BIRD.





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THE blue bird, like the robin, comes
to see us very early in the spring. Some-
times, I think, he gets here a little too
early. He comes before the cold weather
is over. Then he sings merrily enough
for a day or two when the weather is
pleasant and warm, and begins to think
about building a nest. But all at once,
there comes a wind from the north east,
and the clouds cover the sky, and the
rain, the cold, cold rain pours down on
the poor bird and his mate. Dear me!


49





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


how cold they are! I wish we had not
come from the south so soon," says one
to the other. I wish so, too, says the
other blue bird." Well, we must make
the best of it now we are here," they
both agree. And they do make the best
of it. They get into as warm a place as
they can find until the storm is over, and
the weather is warm again; and then
you will hear the blue bird sing as cheer-
fully as he did before. Blue birds build
their nests in a hollow tree. They do
not make the holes in the trees them-
selves. Their bills are not fitted for
boring holes. But they find a hole that
some other bird has made, and make
their home there, after the bird has left.


50
































































THE BIRD OF PARADISE.


i'






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


HERE is a bird with a very fine dress.
He does not live in this country. His
home is a great way from the United
States. The reason why birds of this
kind were first called birds of paradise is,
because they are so handsome. They
live in large flocks, and when night
comes, they all fly to the same tree, and
sometimes fill all the branches of the tree
full. There are several different species
of the bird of paradise. The prettiest of
them all is the one called the great bird


53






54 PEEP AT THE BIRDS.

of paradise. This is the one which you
see in the picture. It is a male. The
female is not so pretty. Some years ago,
many of the ladies in this country used to
wear the plumage of the bird of paradise
on their bonnets. I believe they do not
often dress in this way now, though. It
is a good while since I have seen a bon-
net with such an ornament on it. The
beauty of the bird of paradise is about all
he has to boast of.





















-7'

rs


TfER OSTRICH,


\i





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


THIS is one of the largest birds in the
world. He does not fly, like most other
birds. He has wings, to be sure. But
he uses his wings to help him run on the
ground. He gets along a great deal
faster when he uses his wings, than he
could without them. The ostrich runs
swifter than a horse. He gets to be
pretty tame, if he is caught when he is
young, and if some pains are taken to
train him. What do you think of the
ostrich carrying a man on his back ? He


57






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


can do it. He does it, too, often. Some
will carry two men on their backs at one
time, and they will run a great deal
faster than you would like to ride, with
this heavy load. You would rather ride
on a gentle pony, than to ride on an
ostrich, would you not? Ostriches lay
very large eggs, with hard shells. In
the country where they live there is gen-
erally a good deal of sand, and they lay
their eggs in the sand. They do not
make a nest, as most other birds do.
They do not need a nest. When the
ostrich lifts up its head, it can reach as
high as ten feet from the ground. He
swallows almost everything he can get
down his throat.


58










































THE ROOSTER.






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


I HARDLY think I can tell anything
new about hens and chickens, to some
of the little boys and girls who read my
book. And I suppose they know all
about the rooster, that struts around the
house and in the barn-yard, and crows so
loudly in the morning, when it is time to
get up. But I guess there are some little
boys, that will have this peep at the
birds, who live in the city, where hens,
and chickens, and ducks, and geese, are
not so plenty. I should not wonder if


61





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


some of these children had never seen
much of the country.
I have a little niece, and her name is
Mary. How delighted she was, when
she first went into the country, with her
papa, and her mamma, and her uncle.
It was in the summer. She was not
quite four years old, when we all went
to Captain Nash's, to stay a day or two.
How little Mary did laugh and clap her
hands, when Clarence Nash took her out
into the yard, to see him feed the chick-
ens. "Biddy, biddy, biddy," Clarence
said; and the chickens came running up
to the place where he and Mary stood.
They knew they were going to have
something good to eat. Mary took some


62




















:i j
-~ --
c


I
I
s i


THE HEN AND HER CHICKENS.


-4,






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


of the corn and some of the meal that
Clarence had in his basket, and she fed
the little chickens, too. Some of the
chickens were so tame that she could
catch them. She caught two or three
of them. But she let them go again
pretty soon.
I do love to hear a rooster crow. How
he .does seem to enjoy his noisy song.
There is not much music in that crowing.
But I like it, if there is not much music
in it. I love to have the rooster wake
me up in the morning; and I love to get
up early, too, and dress myself, and go
out when the dew is on the flowers, and
hear the birds sing praises to the God
who made them, and who fills their little


65






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


breasts with joy. You must get up early
in the morning, if you want to hear the
birds sing.
I am sorry to say that roosters fight
sometimes. I don't like war at all. I
am always sorry when men go to war,
and try to kill each other. I don't like
war, either among men, or beasts, or
birds, or insects; and I should think
much better of the rooster if he would
not fight his neighbors. War generally
does more hurt than good; and if one
rooster has a battle with another-if Tom
fights Tease, and beats him, Tom gets
badly hurt. When he gets through fight-
ing, he is all covered with wounds, and
his head is sore for a fortnight.


66


































Ca f~7~
~f





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


Is one of the noblest and proudest of
birds. He flies very high in the air, and
does not often come where men can shoot
him. There are several different kinds
of the eagle. This is the bird of Wash-
ington here in the picture. I believe he
is the largest of all the different kinds of
the eagle. The bird of Washington is
found in the state of Kentucky. Some-
times two of these birds are seen flying
very high in the air, and fighting with
each other. Mr. Audubon found two


69





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


young eagles of this kind, as he was hunt-
ing in Ohio. They were on a high ledge
of rocks. He heard the young one make
a hissing noise, which he thought was the
way they asked for some food to eat. In
a little while, one of the old eagles came
up to the place where the little ones
were, with a large fish in his mouth.
The eagle dropped the fish, and in a mo-
ment or two his mate came to the spot.
The old eagles did not like the looks of
the man. They flew around him for
some time, and kept growling at him, as
much as to say What business have you
here, sir ?" Then they took away their
young, and Mr. Audubon did not see
them any more.


70











cf-d- '-.yV


THB SWAN.






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THE swan looks something like a goose,
though it is a very different kind of a
bird. He is not half so stupid as the
goose. He is very clumsy and awkward
on land. But as soon as he gets into the
water, he glides along so easily and grace-
fully, that you would hardly know he
was the same bird. If the swan tries, he
can swim faster than a man can walk.
His feet are very well fitted for swim-
ming. They are made so as to work like
the paddles to a boat. The picture


73






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


which you see here gives you a peep at
the tame swan. The tame swan is as
white as snow. He eats corn, bread,
roots, herbs, and seeds. When the swan
has a nest, it is dangerous to go very near
it. The old swans are apt to strike those
who go near the nest. And what do you
think they use to strike with? They use
their wings. And they can strike such a
hard blow with one of their wings, as to
break a man's leg. When they have
young ones in the nest, and anybody
comes along, they carry off the young
ones on their backs. A female swan
once ran at a fox who was swimming
toward her nest, and kept his head under
water so that he was drowned.


74






































THE CARRIER PIGEON.






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WHAT do you think of a bird who car-
ries letters, just as a mail carrier does?
There is a bird called the carrier pigeon,
who does so. You will wonder how he
could be taught to do it; and I must tell
you. This pigeon is very fond of his
home. He thinks there is not a spot in
the world so sweet as his own dear home.
Well, when a person wants to send a mes-
sage to a place, and wants to send it just
as quickly as he can get it there, he has
a carrier pigeon whose home is in the


77






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


place where he wants to send the mes-
sage. It will not do to try to send the
bird any where else. He will always go
straight home. The person who wants
to send the message writes a letter, and
seals it up. Then he fastens it to the
pigeon, in such a way that it will not
prevent his flying; and he lets the bird
go. It is wonderful how straight the fel-
low will go to his home. It is no matter
how far off they have taken him. He
knows which way to go, and away he
flies, as swift as the wind. He never
stops to rest, unless he is tired out, so
that he cannot fly any farther. He can
fly a mile in a minute. It does not take
him long to go a hundred miles, you see.













14A


TIE OWL.





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NOBODY likes the owl. You see he is
not a pretty bird. He has a very un-
pleasant voice, too. That is another rea-
son why people do not like him. I sup-
pose he thinks he is a good singer enough.
But really, he makes most wretched music.
Perhaps we ought not to blame the poor
fellow much for that. He has sins
enough to answer for, besides his bad
singing; and the owl is, after all, a good
deal like some men and women that I
have seen. These people cannot sing,


81






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


any more than a goose-not a whit more.
But they try to sing. They think they
can sing. Every Sunday, when the min-
ister gives out the hymn, and the choir
begin to sing, these folks will begin to
make a noise. They call it singing.
But it might as well be called howling or
screeching. Oh what work they make
with music. They murder it, as a dog
murders a rabbit. There is another
thing which is rather against the owl, be-
sides his bad singing. He kills chickens,
and eats them. He is a great thief. He
does not come to a farm-house in broad
daylight, to carry off the chickens, as the
hawk does. He comes in the night,
when the folks are all asleep.


82

















N AL

QUAILS.


~P~aK~ir






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THE quail sings a song which sounds
like more wheat! more wheat. He likes
wheat, and that is the reason the boys
say he sings more wheat. In the winter
quails are very fat, and a great many of
them are killed to be eaten. I used to
catch them, when I was a boy. We had
two ways of catching quails. One was
to set a square box trap for them, and the
other was to catch them in snares, as we
caught rabbits. Did you ever try to find
a quail's nest ? No doubt you have, if


85






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


you have rambled much in the woods.
If you have tried, I need not tell you that
you did not find it. You remember that
well enough. Quails make their nests on
the ground. They cover up their eggs,
when they see any one coming, and creep
away from the nest, without making any
noise. When they think they have gone
far enough, they make a good deal of
noise in that place, and you go there,
thinking that the nest is there. But the
nest is nowhere near that spot. The
quail is cheating you. He has no notion
that the boys should rob his nest, and so
he makes them think they have got close
to it, when they are a great way off. He
is a cunning fellow.


86

























V



/


THE BITTERN.






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WHEN the bittern is in danger, he has
a strange way of getting out of it. He
puts out the eyes of the one who he
thinks is going to hurt him. He will
allow a dog to come close to him; and
the dog will think, perhaps, that the bird
does not see him. But in an instant, the
bittern will dart at the dog, and put out
his eye with his sharp bill. Once a man
thought he had killed a bittern. The
bird was still. He did not move any.
His eyes were shut. "He must be


89






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


dead," the man said. So he put the
bird in the large pocket of his coat. By
and by, he felt something pushing itself
out under his arm, near his shoulder, and
saw the bill of the bittern. In a moment
or two more, if the man had not seen
him, the bird would have put out one of
his eyes. He was just going to strike,
when the man caught him by the neck,
and killed him. I guess he looked out
for bitterns after that. I don't think he
put any more such birds into his pockets,
unless he was quite sure they were dead,
so that they could not do any mischief.
There are different kinds of the bittern.
That is the tiger bittern which you see in
the picture.


90















THE BASKEE-MAKER.


r





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ONE of the most curious nests that
ever you saw or dreamed of, is the nest
made by a- cunning little bird, called the
Basket-Maker. I wish you could see
the nest. But stop: what is the use
of such a wish ? I will have a picture
made of one of the nests, and that will
do almost as well as the real nest. You
see by this picture how it is made. Is it
not an ingenious thing ? It looks almost
exactly like a basket. It looks as if it


93





PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


could not have been made by a bird. If
you take hold of one of these nests, and
try to pull it apart, you will find that it
is very firmly woven together. There is
another curious thing, too, about the nest
of the oriole. It is always hung on the
end of a very small bough of the tree,
where it is all covered with leaves. I
have often seen these nests on elm and
willow trees. The oriole builds her nest
in such places, so that the boys cannot
get at it. When he fastens the nest to
that slender bough, I suppose there is
something which tells him that though
the bough is strong enough for the nest,
it is too weak to hold up the boys.


94






















































TIE BUSTARD.






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THIs bird does not live in America, I
think. There are some of them, though
not many, in England. It is the largest
land bird there is in that country. They
are found in small flocks. It is said that
they always keep sentinels looking out,
and that when these sentinels learn that
there is danger near, they give notice to
the rest of the flock, and they all in-
stantly take flight.
Sometimes the hunter tries to come
near the flock, so as to shoot some of


97






PEEP AT THE BIRDS.


them. But the birds are generally too
cunning for him. He creeps along on
his hands and knees, without making any
noise, and lurking behind trees and bushes
as much as possible. But his caution is
generally of not much use. You see the
bustards are cautious, too. The senti-
nels are wide awake. They see the
enemy before he gets near enough to
them to shoot them. They shout so that
all the flock can hear them, and the
meaning of what they say is, "It's time
to be off. If we stay here, we shall be
shot."















































THE STARLING.






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THERE is a starling in the West Indies,
who makes a very curious nest. He cuts
leaves into a shape like a quarter of an
orange rind, and sews the whole very
neatly to the under side of a banana leaf,
so as to make one side of the nest.
How is it possible for a boy to rob
the nest of a bird, after the dear crea-
ture has taken so much pains to build
it? Though we have no birds in this
part of the world, that make their nests
exactly as the West India starling does,


101




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