. . . .
... .. ..
gi-o %,z ` MM.r
... .. ... ..
... ... ... .
.... .. .
*'" .~jJ k~ ~
i I I
vi I \J ~ i
( ( L
GROUP OF TALKING PARROTS.
~I -*, '
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i~: I- ---
: ': '? ''
c_ ~. -
tOSEcU OF IRDS
Easy Stories of the Feathered Kingdoui:
Vinadgerie of Animals
EDITED BY LIDA
MONARCH. BOOK COMPANY
Formerly L. P. millerr & Co.
CHICAGO, Ill., PHILADELPHIA, Pa., and STOCKTON, Cal.
LINCOLN W. WALTER,
I, RAVEN (CROW ROOK.
SHERE are few living beings that have, more interest for
children than BIRDS. Their beauty of plumage, their mode
of life, their power of flight and their gift of song ap-
peal to their sympathies as but few things can. Nor can
we wonder at this, for their gentle dispositions and joyous idle
lives give us all a. thousand thoughts that tend toward a better
life and a nobler existence.
The Bird's life though, like ours, is not all happiness, innocence
and song. Many of them are quarrelsome; others songless; others
cannot fly, while some are gluttonous and- others unclean.
Many of them, too, live. a persecuted life; other birds and beasts
of prey are- continually on the watch. to destroy their homes and"
nestlings to which they are much attached. .Sometinres, too, men
and boys pursue them with dogs and guns.
But -like ourselves, God has made them for a purpose in life.
They keep the insects from the fruit and grain; give us eggs for
; -1 ~
food; feathers for beds, and plumes for decoration. Plumes can
taken from birds and not destroy their life, yet. there are thousands
of innocent birds killed every year to supply milliners with orna-
ments for decorations.
How foolish and wicked to shoot these birds which serve us
so well, and how unkind to take their young and destroy their eggs!
We hope that all girls who read this book will protest against
this cruelty and, when grown to womanhood, will not permit birds
to adorn their hats and bonnets.
The bodies of some birds are not strong enough to remain with
us during the winter; hence they come with the flowers, and go
with the flowers. In traveling from the cold to the warm coun-
tries, their flight over land and water is fought with many dangers.
In this little volume there has been no attempt to follow the
scientific order in which birds should be grouped. The stories are
simple and instructive; not dry and scientific. The aim has been
to describe only those which the Creator has placed in our midst,
or which we occasionally see in some park, museum or menagerie.
Study the book carefully, dear boys, and remember that the
birds are God's creatures' and, as such, merit our care.
LIDA BROOKS MILLER.
BIRDS OF PREY ...,..,.. ....... .. ,. .... ..,.. ......
BIRDS OF PASSAGE .....
W ARBLERS ............
. .. .. .. .. .
DOMESTIC AND GAME BIRDS ........................
. ........ ............ .
STRANGE BIRDS ..........
STORIES OF BIRDS........ .......................
^^y T tt
--" .- .
J And all th le people passing by looked up. .
'il to see the bird
That made the sweetest melody that ever
\,' ;, 1 ,-
;li i tlhe' had heard.
Why, papa," little Effie said, "Where can this birdie be
If I coud sing a song like that, Id sit Bwhere folks could see
..show at all......
"Why, papa," little Effie said, "Where can this birdie bev
If I could sing a song like that, I'd sit where folks could see.' '
UP IN A TREE.
"I hope my little girL will learn a lesson
from that bird,
And try to do what good she can, not to
Sbe seen or heard.
This birdie is content to sit, unnoticed by
And sweetly sing his Maker's
praise from dawn to close
So live, my child, all through
your life, that, be it short or
Though others may forget your
looks, they'll not forget your
14 OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
Oar Brotbers and isters.
THINK how bleak a world this would be if it were quite empty
.of birds and animals! Imagine a broad field of grass with-
out a living thing in it! Picture a forest with boughs and
branches and leaves all dancing in the sunshine, and never a robin,
nor a sparrow, nor a linnet; think of a hillside without a squirrel
or a rabbit to run and frisk.
The busy bees, the merry crickets, the grasshoppers and speckled
butterflies, the curious little squirrels, the shy rabbits, the bluejays,
the woodpeckers, the chattering sparrows, the cooing doves arid
the quails-all are filled with the same life which animates us. They
are our little brothers and sisters in feathers and furs, and we owe
them love, care and remembrance.
~ ~i7 Their Homes and
SMONG all the birds known the Falcon is one of the largest
and strongest. It can fly the farthest. and can see the
Our boys and girls have no doubt seen pictures of this peculiar
creature and wondered if it really were a bird or an animal. The
upper jaw has a strong projecting tooth which enables it to feed
upon the flesh of other birds, and its bill is hooked at the point.
The claws are sharp, curved and strong. 'The whole body is
robust and full of muscles. This enables the bird to strike hard
and seize its prey.
16 THE FALCON.
'The wings are long,
pointed and powerful.
One blow from them
will bringdeath to the
smaller birds with which
it comes in contact.- It,
can fly hundred-s-of ;
miles in' a day,- but sel-
dom flies during the
night. It soars, 'to' a
very great height in the
air and usually, flies
higher than any -other,
bird which it is trying to :.
catch. It then swobps:
down upon it.
On- a calm, 'quiet
PEREGRINE FALCON. day, it is alRinost Jim-
possible for this bird to
rise vertically in the air. It usually starts off in a slanting manner,
or else flies against the wind and is gradually borne higher and
higher up, something after the fashion of a boy's kite.
It can see at a distance of many miles and you will; perhaps,
wonder why God has given it a stronger sight than He has given
us, but this is one of the things that we cannot understand. It,
only teaches us to be kind and thoughtful to these creatures which
cannot talk but which have sight, hearing, feeling, taste and smell
very much as we have.
The Falcon is as remarkable for boldness as for power of flight.
18 THE FALCON.
It has sometimes been seen to pounce on game that has been. shot
by the sportsman before it could fall to the ground.
To show its strength, a traveler once told me that in his own
country one of these birds dashed through the heavy plate glass of
his store and carried off a pet bird.
It builds its nest on ledges of high rocks, either on the sea-
coast or in ravines. There, hidden from the touch of man or
beast, the eggs are laid and the young raised and schooled in all
the arts of flight.
Strange as it may seem, with such powers of protection, these
birds after all are not as plenty as in early times. No matter how
dangerous and difficult the path, sportsmen have climbed on, thus
capturing them until now; instead of thousands flying over the
mountains, they are numbered by hundreds,- and in many places
have almost disappeared.
THE BIRD'S CONCERT.
20 THE EAGLE.
S the lion is called the "'King of Beasts," so the Eagle is
considered the "King of Birds."
Among all the feathered tribe we know of none that
is more noted or stands out more -prominently than the Eagle.
There are a great many kinds, each having a name according
STHE EAGLE. 21
to its form and color. The Golden Eagle is the largest of the
European eagles, the extent of its wings beiig above seven feet.
It is found in many places on the- Continent, besides Scotland,
Wales and Ireland. It builds its nest in the most inaccessible
places, high up among the mountains. The eagle generally lays
two eggs, and the eyrie, which is used as a dwelling as well as a
nest, is placed on a ledge of rock, and made soft with hay and
wool, which it gathers from the fields and hedges far below.
In God's Word we read of the eagle's love for high places.
"She di\elleth and abideth on the rock, on the crag of the rock,
and the strong place. From thence she seeth the prey, and her
eyes behold afar off."
The eagle was called by the ancients the "celestial bird," on
account of its' flying to a great height with its eye fixed on the sun.
S It often, causes much alarm to the people in the Highlands of Scot-
land, for it will seize upon lambs and kids, and carry them away
to its nest in its talons.
The .eagle is said to live over one hundred years, and can exist
:a long time without food. Once a gentleman caught an eagle alive,
-and gave it in charge to his servants, who were so careless as to
leave it without food for three weeks, 'at the end of which time it
was visited, and seemed in perfect health. But you may be sure
it would have been far happier enjoying the freedom of its native
mountains, and getting its food as it liked.
Though the eagle is often called a cruel bird, it is full of affect,
tion and kindness to its own young ones, providing their food with
the greatest care, and teaching them to fly by spreading its own
large wings beneath, so that if the young ones grow frightened and
fall, they shall not be hurt.
22 OLD ABE.
Game of all kinds, such as rabbits, and ,even larger animals,
are carried home to feed the young. In some countries where
eagles live, we have heard of children being carried off by them to
feed their young.
Because of 'the great strength of the eagle, because of its cour-
age and because of its boldness, this bird has been invested with
the attributes of greatness. Even in early times, the Romans,
placed'a gold or brass eagle on their implements of war, which ex-
pressed a confidence of victory. Our own United States, too, has
selected the eagle as a national emblem. The stamp of the eagle
is put on our coin and figures of this bird everywhere decorate our
SLD ABE is an eagle that
S- has become more famous,
than birds usually do. During
the war between the States, he
was captured .by some Union:
soldiers in camp, who named him
SOld Abe, in honor of Lincoln.
During their months of forcedd
idleness he was tamed by them
and became the bird of the reg-
iment. He took a fierce delight
in battle; while it raged he would
EAGLE. perch on his standard, gloating
over carnage, or, flapping his great wings, would fly hither, and
thither, shrilly screaming his joy in the red battle.
WEDGE TAILED EAGLE OF AUSTRALIA.
'' lit ///~/'~~
24 THE EAGLE.
Old Abe went through the war. He was in many a fight;
shells crushed over his head and minnie ball whistled on all sides,
but he came out unharmed; perhaps the loser of a feather or two
but otherwise sound.
In one battle, when the cannons were booming and the men
surging backward and forward, that noble bird: entered into all the
spirit of the fight. He danced with delight on his perch and his
scream could be heard above the roar of the battle. As a result of
his excitement, a large feather dropped from his wing, or it might
be that some bullet just grazed past him., Anyway, this feather
fell a few yards from Mr. Olroyd, one of the men in battle line.
It came from "Old Abe," the best known name during, the war,
and he made up his mind to have the feather. IThat was a souve-
nir that could .not be obtained in'future years, whether 'the Union
were saved or not, so he just ducked his head- and made a dive
for it. He put his arm over his face as if that could shield him
from the bullets, and rushed into the open space in front of the
line, grabbed the feather, stuck it under his blouse and carried it
This feather of the grand old bird, "Old Abe," is now framed
and hangs in the very house in Washington where that great and
good man, Abraham Lincoln, breathed his last; just opposite the
building where the fatal shot was fired that ended his life.
The eagle was kept with' his regiment until the close of the
war, when he was consigned to a museum.
He was described to me- by a lady who saw him in 1883 in
Woodward's Garden, San Francisco. Here he was one of',the chief
attractions of the place, being visited by hundreds of people daily.
He was a large bird, and, of course, too dignified to put on airs,
THE EAGLE AND THE PIG.
but he seemed thoroughly to appreciate the fact that he was a bird
of importance. His mien showed that he was used' to homage, and
he accepted it with gracious condescension from the crowd about him.
PAIR of bald eagles built
tree on a river shore in
V- 5 Virginia. I will tell you a true
S? story about them.
Mr. Heath lived not far off,
I and one day, while walking on his
farm, he heard a pig squealing over his head.
"I never heard of a pig with wings," he said to himself, look-
ing up in the air. But this poor little pig did not want to fly.
The huge eagle had seized him, and was bearing him to his nest.
Just at the foot of the 'tree the bird lit on the ground, and began
to strike the pig on the head with his powerful beak.
I will have that pig, myself," 'said Mr. Heath; but, as he ran
up, the eagle rose in the air with his prey.
Not long after this, Mr. Heath shot at the same bird and
crippled him. He then tried to kill him with a heavy stick, and
his son ran to help him.
Now began a real battle. The eagle fixed his piercing eye on
his enemy, and rushed to meet him. The first blow from the stick
stunned the bird, but he quickly came to himself. When, at last,
he seemed to be dead, Mr. Heath and -his son set out homeward,
each holding a wing of the eagle. All at once he revived, and tried
to strike with his beak. They had to stop and renew the fight,
and finally killed the brave bird. He was found to measure seven
feet from the tip of one wing to the other.
T HE largest known "Bird of Prey" is the Condor. It is
called the "King of Vultures," because it prefers the flesh
of dead animals to live. It will often eat so much that
if attacked it cannot fly.
It is large and strong and can carry large animals a long dis-
tance in the air to its nest. It soars away out of sight of the
naked eye, even many miles above the clouds. It has no voice
and makes only a weak snoring noise.
THE CONDOR OF THE ANDES. 27
Its wings are long and powerful, the tail short and the color
generally bright. The head of some of the birds is finished with a
large gristly comb.
The Condor of The Andes.
T P among the cold, white peaks-of the Andes, higher than
human foot has had the daring to tread, is sometimes seen
a dark speck, slowly circling in the clear air. The speck
gradually descends, and we see that it: is the largest bird of the
air, the condor. -Its flight is swifter than the eagle's. Nothing but
the distance could have made the condor of the Andes seem small
and slow of wing. Swiftly descending, .strong, cruel, hungry, he
fastens his horrid eye upon some luckless lamb or kid. Rarely is
it able. to escape or hide from its enemy; successful resistance is
impossible. The condor cannot carry off its prey in its talons like
the eagle, for it has not the eagle's power of grasp, and the sharp-
ness of its claws is in time worn off on the hard rocks which are
its home; so, standing upon the struggling animal with one foot,
the condor kills the, poor thing with his powerful beak and his
Like many other greedy creatures, the condor after his dinner
becomes incapable of flight, and it is only then that he can be ap-
proached with safety; but even then the hunter must be cautious
and strong. A Chilean miner, who was celebrated for his great
physical strength, once thought that without weapons he could cap-
ture a condor which seemed unusually stupid after its heavy meal.
The man put forth all his strength, and the engagement was long
and desperate, till at last the poor miner was glad to escape with
28 THE CONDOR OF THE ANDES.
his life. Exhausted, torn and bleeding, he managed to carry off a
few feathers as trophies of the hardest battle he had ever fought.
He thought that' he had left the bird mortally wounded. The other
'miners went in search of the body, but'instead,
found the, bird alive and erect, flapping his wings
If the condor does not reach an untimely-
end by violence, it is,
according to all ac-
counts, very long-lived.
'The Indians of the
n wAndes believe that he
I. lives for a hundred
The condors' homes
seem just suited for
birds so ugly and fierce.
They build no nest,
but the female selects
Some hollow in the
~ barren rock that shall
CONDOR. be large enough to
shelter her from the
strong winds while she is hatching her eggs. Here, in the midst-
of a dreadful desolation, the. ugly little condors begin their cries for
food, and after they are six weeks old begin attempting to use
their wings. The parents manifest the only good trait they possess
in their care for their young, feeding and training them to fly, so
that in a few months they are able to hunt for themselves.
THE AMERICAN OSPREY.
T"- -HIS bird has ni,,t the
amine e -isv, gra c-t :f
sailing m,, tion, \\wh n resting
on its ocitstretcl-lid wings in
the light air, that thIe vulture
i; ,,. has;' ne v e r-
"i .theless, it is
,. '.a pleasure to
iiiiI watch it hlv-
:.;' 9(''. air o ver its
n.. g ing-ground. As it is
V not a lazk bird, like
its unpleasant relative, but, on the con-
trary,. is endowed with great activity
and,' energy, its motions are accordingly different.
30 THE AMERICAN OSPREY.
Hark! There sounded his discordant shrill whistle; and see!
there sits our fish-hawk on the topmost branch of lofty pine. Out
stretches his neck, a few clumsy, preparatory flaps of. his great
wings, and he is launched out into space. For a few seconds he
beats the air with long, powerful strokes, and then, steadying his
wings, he shoots along, and rests over the unquiet waters below.
Almost motionless are his wings, but his head moves incessantly;
his piercing eyes searching the depths of water for the unwary fish
that shall approach too near the surface. A moving object- arrests
his eye. The strong wings, with a few strokes, carry him a short
distance away for a good swoop. Down he shoots, with eager
talons, brushes the waves, and then, having missed his prey, again
mounts aloft, ashamed of his failure, but in no wise disheartened.
Ah! that swoop was successful, and now the little ones at home
The Osprey is seldom more than four feet long, from tip to
tip of outstretched wings, and usually is smaller than' this. It is
very powerful, and has such confidence in its own strength that it
will attack almost any inhabitant of the water. Occasionally this
hardihood has led to its destruction; for instances have been known
where it has essayed to carry away so large a creature as a seal.
It would sink its talons so deeply into the would-be victim's flesh
that it could not withdraw them when the seal dived, and would
thus be drawn under and drowned.
THE VULTURE. 31
HIS bird, like the Condor, lives on the flesh of dead an-
imals. The beak is long, straight at the base and slightly
toothed. The head is generally bare, with a ruff of short
feathers around the neck, into which the head can be drawn. The
legs ard feet are large.
Vultures have great power of flight and some of them soar
high in the air. The plumage is not neat like the Falcon's, but is
thick, and on this account the bird cannot be easily shot.
32 SECRETARY BIRD; OR,: SERPENT EATER.
These birds are found in warm countries and mostly in the
mountains. They do not often attack a live animal, but have been
known to sit for hours and watch for an animal to die, arndthen
begin their feast. They, are not brave like the eagle and are often
scared away by birdss much smaller than themselves; If, let alone,
though, they will become used to the sight of man,. and hen n
hungry will seek for food in the streets of a town. ,
Very closely related to this bird is the Turkey Buzzard,:, which
fly in flocks, make its nests nin hollow trees, in chlimlneys of old
houses where no one lives, and on roofs of houses. 1In warm: coun-,
tries during the heat of the day, they perch on the tops of houses
and sleep with their heads on their wings. The Califrmnia Vulture'
is the largest of the vultures found in North Americ.i.
5ecriFarer Bird; or, 5erpent ELater.-
UR boys and girls may thi thk this a funny name for a"
bird. .The 'fact- is, this bird gets its name fr'tm -the
tufts of feathers .at the back of .its head whichh look
very similar to pens stuck here and, there.:
The legs are long and the toes armed with sharp claws.; The
wings are long' and armed with blunt spurs at the shoulder.' The
tail is also long.
It feeds upon reptiles of. all kiilds, and is so highly v-alued on:;
account of the war which it wages against serpents, that in some
countries a fine is put upon any person who shoots it. It is bcld
and fearless when starting out to attack a serpent, and always suc-
ceeds 'in killing it with blows from its wings. It attacks some of
the most poisonotis serpents known, and if it cannot' kill them in
1 Fl* re
THE hAWK-A BIRD OF PREY.
SECRETARY BIRD; OR, SERPENT EATER.. 35
one way it will in another. Frequently it carries the serpent into
the air at a dizzy height and lets it fall. This is sure to kill it.
Another way is to strike violent blows with the feet.
In some countries this bird is tamed and kept in the poultry
yard to protect the chickens and ducks, but must be well fed or
else it is apt to help itself to some of the game. When battling
36 THE WOODPECKER.
with a snake, it covers itself with one wing so as to form a shield,
and with the other strikes the reptile until it falls senseless.
There is an. island called Martinique in the Atlantic Ocean,
which is said to be exceedingly fertile and would become a favorite
gardening spot were it not for the venomous reptiles. An attempt
has been made to introduce this bird there and thus reduce the
number of venomous snakes. No doubt it will become a success
ID you ever stop to think,
children, where the Wood-
pecker got its name? If,
t you think a moment you will know
that the name has been given it
from a habit it has of pecking into
the decayed wood of trees to find
In order to perform these duties,
it is made differently from other
birds. ,The feet are extremely powerful, and the claws strong and
sharp-hooked, so that it can take a firm hold of the tree to which
it is clinging while it works away at the bark with its bill.
The tail, too, has stiff and pointed feathers which, are pressed
against the tree to form a support on which the bird can rest its
weight. The beak is long, strong and sharp. This helps the bird
to cut away the wood but there is still one other provision made
by God to enable this little bird to get its food,. It has a long
THE WOODPECKER. 37
bill, but even a bill would not do the work alone; it must have a
tongue to aid in seizing the insects which lurk in holes where the
beak could not penetrate. The tongue bones are very long and
GOLDEN WINGED WOODPECKER.
the tongue is furnished at the tip with a long, horny appendage,
covered with barbs and sharply pointed at the end,, so that the
bird can project it out, fasten an insect and draw it into its mouth.
38 THE WISE LITTLE WOODPECKER.
Although the woodpecker lives mostly on insects, it is fond of
fruit, choosing the ripest. The common notion that these birds are
injurious to trees, is wrong, for they do more good, by eating up
the insects, than harm by their 'pecking.
They make their homes in the stumps of trees by striking out
chips of wood with their strong bill and there lay their eggs. They
sometimes carry away the chips to a distance so that the nest may
not be discovered. The nest consists of a mere hole in the tree,
perhaps with a few chips in the bottom, but with no other lining.
A True $tory.
P APA was so long coming! Allen had been sitting in the
great rustic chair by the window "about forty hours," he
was sure; and Mamie and King, in the window near,
thought it was twice as long.
T- THE WISE LITTLE WOODPECKER. .39
A redheaded woodpecker darted into the corncrib.
"What does a woodpecker want in the corncrib, mamma?"
chorused three little voices.
"Wait a moment, and you will see what I saw yesterday,"
In a moment more the pretty woodpecker flew back to an old
tree, where the children could see her pecking and hammering, as
if she .had seen, or heard, or smelled, a fat worm in the hole in
the tree. Then she flew to her nest and fed the hungry birdies,
and back again to the corncrib.
"What does she do that
for?" was the query again.
Mamma' bade them watch
very carefully, as she had
They soon saw that the
dear little mother-bird brought
corn from the crib, and dropped
it into a hole in the old tree;
then she cracked it in pieces
small enough -for her little ',
ones, and 'carried it to them.
"Isn't God good to teach the little mother-bird to think how
to get supper for heri birdies, when the worms are all gone?" said.
thoughtful little Allen.
"Yes," said King; "I believe that bird knows a good deal
more than many people."
"Oh, there's papa!" shouted little MIamie. "We were just
ready. to see you-haven't waited hardly a little minute!"
40 THE CROW.
"It seems the birdie can shorten time as well as feed' her nest-
lings," added mamma.
MRS. FRANCES SMITH.
I-E common Crow, so plentiful in America, resembles the
Raven in habits and appearance, though much smaller.
Young hares are frequently the prey of this bird. The
crow pounces upon the young ones as they steal abroad 'to feed.
It is able to kill and carry them off without difficulty. The crow
also eats reptiles of various kinds, frogs and lizards.
It is also a plunderer of other birds' nests, even carrying away
BENNIE AND THE CROWS. 41
the eggs of poultry by driving the beak into the egg and flying
away with it. Even large eggs have been stolen by the crow.
Sometimes it feeds on the seashore and there finds food among the
crabs, shrimps, and shells that are found near the low-water mark.
It cracks the hard-shelled creatures by flying with them to a .great
height, and then letting them drop on a rock.
The nest of the crow is always made in the topmost branches
of a tree far away from other birds. In hunting the eggs to obtain
them safely, one must have a steady head, a practiced foot, and a
The color of the crow is generally blue-black, but varieties
have been known in which the feathers were cream white. The
crow is greatly disliked by farmers, chiefly because it pulls up and
eats the sprouting grain in the cornfield. Sometimes "Scare-crows"
are made to resemble a man with a gun. This frequently keeps
them away for a time.
Bennie and the Crows.
WILL not go to school," said Bennie. "I will stay out in
the fields and have a good time.
So he laid down on the soft; green grass, under a
tree, and threw his books and slate on the ground by his side.
It was the first day of May. The sun was bright and the air
fresh and sweet, as it always is in the spring, and the songs of
birds were heard on every side.
"I will not go to school," said Bennie again. "I do not like
books and slates as well as green fields and May flowers; and this
grass is so much softer than our seats in thep school-house."
42 BENNIE AND THE CROWS.
Just as he said this, he looked up into the tree and saw two
old crows sitting there, and close by them a nest, very much like
a bundle of sticks.
''Here's a: pretty dunce!" said one of the crows. "He says
lie won't go to school." And the birds began to say "Caw, caw,"
as if they were laughing at Bennie.
"What! You do not like to work?" said the crow again. "0
you idle boy! You are worse than a bird! Do you think I am
idle? Look at my nest. What do you think of it, sir?"
"I suppose it is a very nice one, Mr. Crow," said Bennie,
"but I should not like to live in it."
"That is because you are only a boy and not so wise as a
crow," said his new friend; and the other crow cried, "Caw, caw,
caw!" as if it thought so too.
"Do you know why a crow is wiser than a silly boy?" asked
CPfE747, 11"1, : ?3
44 BENNIE AND THE CROWS.
the crow, turning his head to one side and looking at Bennie with
his bright, black eye.
"No," said Bennie, "I thought that boys were wiser than
"You thought," said the crow. "Very little you know about
it! Tell me, can you build a house?"
"No," said Bennie, "but when I am a man I shall."
"And why can't you do it now?" said the crow, turning his
Head to the other side and looking at Bennie with the other eye.
"Why, I have not learned how to build one," said the little boy.
"Ho, ho!" said the crow, flapping his wings and hopping round
and round. "He must learn how to build a house! Here's a
pretty boy! Here's a wise boy!"
Then the crows flapped their wipgs and cried "Caw, caw,
caw!" louder than before.
"No one taught me to build my house," said the crow, when
they were quiet again. "I knew how to do it at once. Look at
it-what a nice house-it is!"
"I brought all the sticks it is made of myself. I flew through
the air with them in my mouth. Some of them were very heavy,
but I do not mind hard work. I am not like a little boy that I
"But there are other things in the world besides houses," said
"Yes, indeed," said the crow. "I was just thinking so. You
want clothes as well as a house."
"That I do," said Bennie, "and new ones very often. But
you birds can't wear clothes."
"Who told you that?" said the crow in a sharp tone. "Look
BENNIE AND THE CROWS. 45
at .my black coat, if you please, and tell me if you ever saw a
finer one than mine. Could you make yourself such a coat?"
"No,' said Bennie, "but I can learn."
"Yes, yes, you can learn; but that is the way with you silly
boys-you must learn everything, and yet you are too idle to set
Bennie felt that the crow had the best of it.
"Dear me," he said to himself, ''I never thought crows were
so wise and clever."
"You: may well say that," said the little crow, coming down
to a bough a little nearer Bennie. "You may well say that Master
Ben; but there is -more for you to learn yet. How about your
food? Who,. gives you food ?"
"Why, mother does," said Bennie.
"You are a baby, .then."
"No, indeed, I am not," said Bennie, "and I will throw a
stone at you if you say that I am."
"Boys should never throw stones," said the crow, very gravely.
"We never throw stones. It is a very rude trick. I only asked
if you were a baby, because, when a crow can go alone, he finds
his own food."
"I shall do that when I am grown up," said Bennie. "I shall
"Dear me," said the crow, "you have a great deal to learn
before you. will be as wise as a crow."
"That is very true," said Bennie, hanging his head; "but
there is plenty of time."
"I am not so sure of that," said the crow. "You are as big
as twenty crows. A pretty fellow, to come here and lie on the
46 BENNIE AND THE CROWS. *'
grass all day, when you are such -a dunce! Go to school, lazy
Ben! Go to school! Go to school!"
Many other crows had by this time found their way to the
tree, and they all took up the cry, and made such a noise that
Bennie picked up his books to throw at them; but they all flew to
the highest branches, where they perched and cried, "Caw, caw,
caw!" till poor Bennie could bear it no longer.
He put his hands over his ears and ran off to school as fast
as he could. He was just in time and learned' his lessons well.
His teacher said he was a good boy, and Bennie went home quite
As he passed by the 'tree under which he had been sitting in
the morning, he saw the old crow perched on one of the branches,
looking very grave.
"Come, come," said Bennie; -"don't be cross, my old friend.
I was going to throw my books at you this morning because I was
cross myself. You have taught me a good lesson, and we must be
But the crow looked as if he had never said a word in his
life, and had never seen Bennie before. He ruffled up his black
feathers, fluttered his wings, and then flew slowly across the fields
to join some friends in the wood.
Bennie watched him until, he was lost among the trees, and
then went home and told his mother all about it; but she said that
'birds did not talk and that he must have gone to sleep while lying
under the tree and dreamed it.
Bennie does not think so; and now, whenever he feels lazy,.
he says to himself, "Come, come, Master Bennie, you must work
hard; for you are not yet so wise as an old black crow."
THE OWL. 47
OW many of our boys and girls
have heard at night, this wise.
Sold bird say, "To-Who, To-
Whit,, who are you?" How many
S have missed one or two of their nicest
chickens or ducks the next morning?
This bird is very fond of such food.
The Owl is quite different from
other birds in its general looks. It
has a very large head, large eyes, a
S small hooked bill that is half hidden
by feathers. The claws are very sharp
anid curved, but like the bill, is not so
strong as in the falcon. The owl
catches -its prey by surprise rather than by chasing it. The ,plum-
age is soft, and for that reason the owl makes no noise when it
flies, the feathers even on the wings being soft and downy. Its
soft, loose .plumage makes the bird look very much larger than it
The owl has a very keen sense of hearing. It has an arch on
the outside of the ear, which is not found in any other bird. The
feathers around the ear are cone-shaped and serve as an ear-:
The owl can see well in the twilight or moonlight but cannot
.see 'much in the glare of the day, and will become confused when
taken into the light, and. seems to be in pain. The legs and feet
48 THE OWL.
are feathered to the toes, and in. some cases to the claws. The
throat is very wide and it can swallow its food either whole, or in
very large pieces. The largest owls feed upon rabbits,. fawns, and
sometimes reptiles and fishes.
The owl has from early times been looked upon as a bird
bringing bad luck with it, and on this account is an object of dis-
like and dread to some people. It is, perhaps, because it appears
suddenly in the twilight, but no doubt the chief reason is perhaps
its loud, hollow cry heard during the night. Owls are found in all
parts of the world, and in all climates. It is said that there are
seventeen different kinds in North America alone.
The White Owl or Screech Owl is perhaps the most plentiful.
It kills great numbers of rats and mice.
d6?% yk/. iall,
iu1ico- o, Ie r Joe,
tceqybeoars odofibe M oIL,
bl"ec( tS ^^~speare
50 COMPOSITION EXERCISE.
When teased the -owl will hiss and snap its jaws. It hardly
ever leaves its home in daytime, and when it is driven out, all the
little birds will gather about it as a foe which they may safely tor-
ment. It cannot see then, and is thus at their mercy.
I ET the children describe parts.
E The head is large, eyes round, large, encircled by. a ring
of fine feathers. The bill is large and hooked, throat wide,
tongue cleft or 'bzfid.
Plumage: upper part dusky; lower,
tawny with dusky bars, chin white, bill
black, eyes golden. Tail of white or
barn owl is forked, feet clumsy.
Habits.-They are found in dark
deep swamps. They can see best at
night, during the day theykeep con-
cealed. They feed .on small birds,
mice, bats, etc.; their hearing.
is very acute. They prowl
about farm yards and gardens
at night; and send forth un-
earthly sounds. Their nests
of sticks, lined with leaves
VWL. and feathers, are built in tall
REBECCA AND ISAAC.
in the daytime,
I ebecca and Isaac.
W HAT do you
think they were?
A couple of owls.
Bertie's big brother
found them away up' in the
top of a tall tree. He
climbed up and got them
They named them Re-
becca and Isaac, but every-
body called them Becky
Bertie made a little
nest for them and tied
their legs with a string so
IV. they could walk a little'but
could not fly away.
They grew very tame
and would come to Bertie
when he called them. They
sometimes flew .upon his
J-'5 shoulder or alighted on his
SThey looked very funny
CA AND ISAAC.
rolling -their big, round eyes
and blinking away at the light.
52 THE FUNNY OWL.
But when it grew dark, they could see, when Bertie could not.
After a time he let them go all over the house. Sometimes they
went out-of-doors, but they always came back.
At last they grew very troublesome, and Bertie's mamma told
him she thought they had better go into the woods again.
He felt very badly over it at first, but when Becky flew against
a pan of milk his mother was carrying and spilled it all over her
clean dress, and Ike broke sister Lucy's prettiest vase, knocking it
off the organ with his long wings, he consented.
So his big brother went with him, and when they got away
out in the woods they let them go.
He never saw them again but once. That was when he and
his brother and sister were in a boat on the river. Two owls flew
down from a tree on the bank and round and round their boat; and
they seemed to know him when Bertie called them.
He thought it was Becky and Ike, and I think so, too; don't you?
The Panny nOvt.
I OOK at this dignified, sober creature, with it's eyes almost
shut up in the daytime, and wide open in the night! This
queer bird works just as watchmen do; does all its hunting
for mice and other food in the dark.
If you want the rats caught in your barn, owls are better than
all the cats in the world.
A live owl in the daylight has his head shrunk into his body,
and is very stupid; but the moment night comes, his eyes are like
living balls of fire, and he is ready for work,
THE FUNNY OWL.
Owls have the edges of their wing-quills slightly turned back,
and covered with fine hairs, so they may fly very quietly. The
only one without them is the hawk owl. Do you know why? Be-
cause it is the only one that flies in the daytime.
They cannot sing like other birds, but make a dismal cry which
sounds like "T'whit, T'whoo!" Even the beautiful snowy owls of
54 PRAIRIE OWLS.
Greenland make the winters there lonely and sad with its frightful,
Most birds have some fun about them, but the owls haven't.
MRS. G. HALL.
HE Prairie Owl cannot live in a hollow tree, like his cousins
of the East, because there are few, if any, trees about
his home. He moves into the prairie dog's burrow, and
the furry and feathered live contentedly together. To find a bird
living under ground is droll.
There the female lays her eggs and rears her brood. She
spends much time sitting at the entrance, perhaps with her owlets
by her side. When any person comes near, she makes a bow and
drops into the hole out of sight. Owls cannot see by daylight, but
wait for darkness, and then go out in search of prey.
In parts of California, Utah and Arizona, where the summers
are hot and long, great numbers of scorpions appear. The people
dread them, for their sting is poisonous. They might be so many
as to drive the people from their homes, if it were not for the owls.
The owls feed on scorpions, with a great appetite. So the owl is
the friend of man, and should not be harmed.
Every night at dusk the owl comes quietly into the dooryard
and garden paths, looking for scorpions. The scorpions have come
out, and are crawling everywhere. The hungry owl picks them up
by dozens. He eats only the soft parts'of the body, leaving the.
head, claws and tail, Sometimes a quart or more of these remains
on a cornice or. on a beam of the barn will show where an owl
has made his night's feast,
SLAVINIA S, GOODWIN,
a pleasure to greet the black-
birds. -They come back to us
from their winter homes in the
sunny south. They come in flocks,
and you can hear their loud song
in the meadows. They like to make
their nests in the low bushes and
among the tufts of grass. They
like to be near a pond or stream
of water. In the fall they get to-
gether in large flocks and go down
upon the farmers' cornfields. They
are also fond of grain, and the
farmers call them great pests. Their
nests are made of grass, small twigs, and fine, roots, and in each
nest you will find four or five pale-blue eggs spotted with dark
These birds are very handsome.' The male is a glossy black,
with a patch of brightest red, feathers on his shoulders and the
upper part of his wings. The female is brown and has no red
feathers, though the upper part of the wings is 'faintly tinged with
red, but you would hardly see any of the red unless you had the
bird in your hands. They are shy and will not let you get very
There is another blackbird found in England; it is a much
THE SWALLOW. 57
sweeter singer than the one we have told you about. It is a real
jolly bird-a sort of wag among the birds. It is like the clown at
the circus, and just like those merry-makers it. will not do its best
unless there is some one round to applaud. They are quite sure
to be on hand to show themselves off when other birds are near to
see the frolic and listen to the music.
These birds are very fond of wild berries, stone-fruits and grapes.
These they find .ab6ut the English hedges, and they are as full of
glee as a o1t of school girls out for a holiday. So long as the fruit
holds out little care they for grubs and .worms. One by one the
fruit trees lose their leaves and their fruit, and there is nothing left
for the blackbird. About the last -of November, when the fruit is
all gone, the blackbird hastens to his winter home in big clumps of
trees. Here he is obliged to eat grubs and worms, and sometimes
he is not even able to find as many of these as he would'like. During
the cold weather he is not as happy as in the spring-time, but all
the while he seems to be thinking of the good time coming.
The blackbird is a near relative of. the mocking-bird, and has
many of the same habits, or habits that are somewhat similar. But
there is not a bird in England that begins to be so much of a wag
T-HERE are some seventy-five different kinds of swallows.
They consist of birds which prey on insects, catching
S them in the air. They have great powers of flight, now
soaring to a great height, now skimming near the surface of the
ground or of the water and wheeling with great rapidity. The bill
is short and weak, very broad at the base so that the. gape is wide;
i=--- rz Tf!
THE SWALLOW. 59
the wings are very long, pointed, and more or less sickle-shaped
when expanded; the legs are short and weak. The tail is generally
forked. The plumage is short and glossy.
Those living in the colder parts of the would migrate to warmer
60 THE SWALLOW.
regions when winter approaches and insects disappear. The com-
mon swallow of Europe has a very long and deeply forked tail.
The nest is made of mud and clay, formed into little pellets and
stuck together with
straw, and lined with
feathers. It is open
Si and cup-shaped, and is
Placed where it is shel-
tered from wind and
rain, oftentimes down an
bird is g n old chimney, under the
ofI--- ttroof of an open shed, or
-lin an old building. Two
-- broods are produced in
-af-r :cf a year.
The Window Swal-
low is a very common
NEST OF THE ESCULENT SWALLOW.
bird, glossy black above,
and white below. The feet are covered with short, downy feathers.
The nest is built of mud or clay, and is round like an apple with
the entrance on the side; it is attached to a rock or to the wall of
a house under the eaves or in the upper angle of a window. This
bird is a great annoyance to housekeepers who prefer the cleanliness
of the windows to the lively twitter of the birds and the nest-
Swallows congregate in great numbers, and then disappear all
at once,, but only to come again with the spring.
TH1E EARL Y SWALLOWS. 6t
THE EARLY SWALLOWS.
"Oh, let us away o'er the ocean once
Said some swallows when first they
arrived on this shore ;
"How bitterly cold when compared
with the south,
And no sign of food, e'en for one
" Have patience," cried one; "though
I grant, things look ill,
There is surely enough to be thank-
ful for still;
The sun, see, is trying his hardest
And the lark overhead has a voice
quite divine !
"Let some go and search, while the
others rest here,
For food and a glimpse of the nests
of last year;
This well can be done by a party of
And let us draw lots as to which it
No better advice could the swallows
So, seating themselves on a tele-
They each gave a feather, and one
held them loose
In a dear little bunch for the others
Then they who the three longest
feathers had drawn,
'Mid showers of good wishes, were
While those left behind did their best
to look bold,
And nestled together to keep out
An hour slowly passed-and then,
swift through the air'
Came a wonderful story of nests and
So each little bird gave a chirp-of
And, spreading their wings, all were
soon out of sight.
~:iR P 'I~i.
II.' 1.1 i
62 THE SWALLOWS.
THE KINGFISHER. 63
INGFISHERS are brilliant in color, rival-
ing even the finest tropical birds. Blue
and green are the prevailing colors. It is
found in almost all parts of Europe except the
most northern, and over a great part of Asia
and Africa. It frequents the Banks of rivers
and streams, and is often seen flying near the
surface of the water. It lives on small fish and insects, such as
minnows, trout, salmon, leeches and water insects. After catching
a fish it kills it by beating it against a branch of a tree and then
swallows it head foremost.
It seems probable, though
not certain, that the King- \
fisher is the Halcyon of the .. j
ancients, about which many ,'
fables were current, among i- -
them, its having power to.. .
quell storms; of its float- .
ing nest and the stillness of
the winds during the *time '
necessary for its safety. It -
was a popular notion that if -.
the stuffed skin of the King- -"--- -
fisher was hung up by a
thread, the bill would always point to the direction from which the
A w- ....
-1 ~!~ i"A
TAbKING BIRDS '
I I. a
THE ROBIN FAMILY,
THE PARROT. 69
E now come to the Parrot, a favorite bird with boys and
girls. It is noted for its gaudy and handsome plumage
and for its power of repeating names and words which
70 THE "7 .-L ROT.
Its home is mostly in warm countries and it varies in size from
the Great M:..:,- to the litL.T Love 3:i-, not I.r ,er than -s:irr--;s.
The birJ s are of:enr seen in vast .-_,: in the forests :-.-in ncrs Ts.
in trees. Thelv ;.ed ,cli F.- on riui,&s and seeds. Some of t -m,
:-h. .uLh. d' l: in rp:-r, i s- and up. ;r:-r and ..
The voice of the Parrot Ir:d3 is somewhat liar-. ..'iil,..,o.l some
of the smaillF birds have p1r;-:,:ct voices. It -.,ii- a r
c:- ree of in:- ll[--:n, than is usual in ..-ircL and speaks not :',-i
words but sentences. It is .. -i- 1. d.::i, : and ;.a-.n:1T-.. but
has an irritable ter i tr. It has, ..l- :, a i ol-:-__--,k -1- rslestlessness
and is fond of tricks.
The beak is .Ld i:re:r--.T: fr.,'. that of other i"t.d. It is short,
.:T. n stout and rounded on :il -i. The upper jaw is generally
.-nIer than the i.:,'.*;,r. is curved uili nd. -..i:t: The tongue is very
long, thick, round and Ec-sy.
Nearly all birds when i.:eding rf~ up the 4:....3 with the MiU.
and, if nTe:es..r;,-, bh:.1-. the f ..-- -..-he eth claw. The Parrot,
tOIniui.. does not It makes use ,-' the feet very much like the
m:.:n :.y:,- and ei-. p.r:-ierk dogs. It eaiLi.:.:s the fore-feet as hands
for Ltfinr. f. .:j and icrri't-.. it to the mouth.
The .acm-: is m.i3:,;ng the most p.i. n.L'i.o of i .-. p:l.a..:'t race.
Its home is in Tropic .A meri.-i.k:. These birds go in i-., t., and the
,: rF ran-ce of a _L,;k on a 1r l't, sunshiny EL.: ~7 inr. is **..... n.i- rJb:.
Farr.,.ts are o-ten a r-e-:t '. .:,Tr.- to farmers. A t.,...1: will .:.'a
d r:.-. r .-: v :ice ~- of grain. T.L-,-.- are C.:Io-niniu as can be, and
when in si:arch of food seem to understand that ttLc should not
tm re. ,,ss upon forbidden ground. In case t ..-.- do this, one of the
fi...-L is ci:nratry set to -,r.,,b .CiWtler in a Gilh tree, or on top of
7' WMT PoLLY RID.
72 THE PARROT.
a t-Mwiu, and when any one .. the ct of alarm is given.
The Great Scarlet M is more than three feet in lfn h
'% ~: .... ,
a t.e...ut,, aat o. ahrm i e
THE MAGPIE. 73
IF there is such a thing as a rascal among birds, the Magpie is
one of them. It is very mischievous, much resembling a mon-
key in this respect. It has a tendency to tear and bite all
papers which it can get. We once knew of a Magpie which was
the property of a professor. One day after the professor had re-
turned from school,
he found his room
strewn with pamph-
lets and torn news-
papers so that until
the real culprit was
Discovered, the pro-
fessor thought thieves had'been in the house. A Magpie never
seems to be happy unless it possesses -a hiding place, nor did this
one form an exception to the rule, as it had pecked a hole in a
tree, wherein to dispose of its ill-gotten goods and showed great
uneasiness if any one approached it.
Another magpie gained entrance into the chapel of Wadham
College, Oxford, and remained quiet until the service had begun
when it gravely walked up the center of the aisle, bowing and
saying, "Pretty Mag! pretty Mag!" much to the amusement of the
It builds its nest in high trees, the outside being formed of
thorny sticks strongly interwoven, the inside plastered with earth
and lined with fibers and dry grass; the top is a dome' and an
opening is left on the side for the parent bird, It is shy and
74 ITHE MAGPIE.
vigilant in an extreme degree, notable for cunning both in hiding
from its enemies and seeking its own food.
It is crafty, and may be taught to pronounce not only words
but short sentences.
In certain districts of Norway, the Magpie is so uncommon a
bird, that its appearance is considered a sign of the approaching
death of some principal person in the neighborhood. In England
also it is esteemed a bird of omen. In the norfh of England, one
of these birds flying by itself is accounted a sign of ill luck; two
together forbode something fortunate; three indicate a funeral; and
four a wedding.
THE MAGPIE'S FOOLISH CHATTER.
--i-- ----- -----
O N a fine sunny day, in the
sweet month of May,
when the flowers unfolded, just ready
to bloom, the birds in the bushes,
jays, robins, and thrushes, flashed out
S in the light with their loveliest bloom.
SSaid the thrush with a thrill, as he whet-
S ted his bill, "Good day, neighbor Robin,
how fares it with you?" "Quite well,".
Robin said, as he nodded his head, -and
picked from the ground a bright crystal of
dew. Quoth the thrush, "I've a mind (long,
indeed, I've designed) to ask a few friends for
a sociable call; and the day is so fine I shall
ask them 'to dine; will .you favor me, pray, with
your presence, withal?" Bowing low, he replied.
Said the Thrush, "Bring your bride!" And flew
THE MAGPIE'S FOOLISH CHATTER.
to the woods to invite other friends; and they brushed up their
wings, from the Linnet that sings, to the gravest old bird that his
council extends. I am sure 'twas a sight that would give you de-.
light, in the shadeof the grove when the party were met. And
the strains mingled there with the balmy May air, in a musical
treat I shall never forget. But a Magpie was there, for the Thrush
did not dare to pass her quite by, wouldd have given offense.
And her voice was soon heard breaking in every word, and chatting
away without reason or sense. She had stories to tell of the snow-
drops that fell in August, she saw them come down with her eyes.
And in her own nest, I heard her protest, she had a bright star,
that fell down from the skies. But the birds gave a look, and a
sober old Rook bowed low as he said, at the chatterbox winking,
"People often do speak, though their heads are so weak, it is plain
to the world that they talk without thinking."
A PARROT THAT TALKS GERMAN.
A Parrot that Tals GQerman.
OUR boys and girls have all, no doubt, heard parrots talk.
We fancy, though, that many of them would laugh at
the idea of one of these birds talking German. Yet
such a parrot lives in one of our large cities. Her
home is opposite a German church, and, on a bright morning, Poll
hanging in her cage outside her window can hear the services and
HOW AN OWL-PARROT PUT OUT GAS.
seems to take quite an interest in them. Sometimes, though, she
will interrupt them by remarks which, we are sorry to say, are not
always reverent. In the morning when asked how she slept the
previous night, Polly will reply "Sehr gut," which means in English,
This Polly is sometimes naughty and her mistress punishes her
by confining her in a closet. While in the closet she will cry and
moan piteously so that her mistress is at last compelled to release
her. This seems to do her good for it is often several days before
she will repeat the offense.
How cm OvI-Parrot Pat oAt GaS.
A True $tor-.
IN a little town called Ravenswood near Chicago, lives a family
consisting of father, mother and four beautiful children. The
children are fond of dogs, but the father objects to dogs and
permits his his children to keep an owl as a pet, instead.
A short time ago, after tucking the children carefully in bed,
the father, with the older members of the family, went out to
spend the evening. But before going he turned the gas lights low.
The owl soon began his nightly wanderings. You know, owls see
better in the dark than in the light, and he seemed to understand
this and flapped his wings until he had blown out the lights, one
When the father returned home late at night, he was almost
overpowered by the fumes of escaping gas. He rushed in and found
his little girl nearly suffocated. He soon opened the windows and
ZACK THE COCKATOO. 79
doors, all the time wondering how in the world the affair had taken
place. In his efforts to drive the gas from the house he stumbled
over his pet owl lying on the floor almost lifeless. He soon under-
stood, the situation and now thinks that a dog is a better pet for
his children than an owl, especially when left to wander over the
Sacd fte Coc(utoo.
ACK was a cockatoo. He was snow-white, with a yellow
crest. What was left of his tail was yellow.: By an acci-
dent it had lost all but two feathers.
He could say several words. What he said oftenest was, "Poor
cockatoo! Poor cockatoo!" in a pleading voice. We used to lift
him upon a ffnger, and he would give us a kiss by placing his open
ZACK THE COCKATOO.
bill close to our lips and moving his little tongue back and forth.
He was not a good bird, though, and we were always afraid of his
When very angry, he would spread his wings and tap his hard bill
on the floor. His crest would stand up and open like a fan. Instead
of walking in the usual way he
-.iI -w, 1 .1 1'-' l like a frog, screeching
,' '.11 th ll -l, ile in a horrid way.
SZ.A:lk t.....k a dislike to a dear
Ii "i l,,i-ly. He tore the crown
.-,t ,.,f -..-!veral of her nice white
.l.l.'? 1:ip". Sie learned to keep her eyes
.... ~,,',"-': all ol:i1:i I her when she passed
"..... '""h111^ him. He soon found
-..i there was no longer
..,,"'any hope of that
kind of fun. He
---flower, and bit her
= -- heel. The harder she
shook her foot the
harder he bit and
flapped his wings. By and by some one came and took him away.
One lady in the house had a number of cats. Once when she went
out to call them to dinner, a voice above her head cried out, just as
she opened her lips, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty." She looked up, aston-
ished to see the old cockatoo peeping roguishly down through the
THE COCKATOO. 81
T HE Cockatoo is related to the parrot family but differs from
the true bird by having a long bill and a rounded tail.
The head is also large and has a crest which can be
raised or lowered at pleasure. The birds are white, but the crests
are yellow. Sometimes they live to the age of 130 years, even in
captivity. They do not speak many words'but have the faculty of
crying out Cock-a-too, and their name is thus derived from their
Our Cockatoo is a beautiful, great bird, with a deep orange
crest and snow-white feathers. When he first saw little Kitty
Simmons he went into peals of laughter, and shook his crest in
Somehow he never laughed at anybody else. She had a way
of shaking her curls at him which pleased him very much. Then,
too, she took him in the carriage with her to see a very old parrot
When he reached the house where old "Molly" lived, and
the door was thrown open, "Cockatoo," as we called him, would
walk out with a most majestic air, as if he was the "great mogul."
82 T1 RAHPVEX,
l"Moll" always listened be-
hind the door, and as soon as
/ Cockatoo" came in sic;ht she
would cry out, O"(h, you proud
thing! You put on so many
airs!" Then Cockatoo looked as
ashamed as a human being.
MRS. G. HALL.
THIS truly handsome bird is found in nearly all parts of the
globe. It lives in the wildest districts that can be found,
and feeds on the nuts and fruits in forests as well as on
young hares and lambs; it sucks eggs; it rejoices in carrion, and
sometimes attacks weak or sickly beasts. It generally makes its
nest of sticks, coarse weeds, wool or hair and builds its nest in
rocky places, or on a narrow ledge of a precipice. The color is a
Ravens are occasionally captured and become pleasant pets.
They are impudent, cunning, mischievous and thievish. They have
a love for glittering things and their power for imitating the hblmmn
THE RA VEN.
speech is almost equal to that of the parrot. Whole sentences are
learned by them. They are celebrated for their long life; many
of them live to be seventy years of age. The appearance of one
of these birds has generally been reckoned an ill-omen, probably
on account of its color and its extremely harsh, croaking voice,
which may sometimes be heard in fine weather as if coming from
84 THE RA VEN.
The first historical notice we have of this bird is in the Bible
where we are told that at the end of forty days after the great
flood had covered the earth, Noah, wishing to find out if the waters
NOAH AND THE RAVEN.
had abated, sent forth a Raven which did not return to the ark. He
afterward sent forth a dove which brought back a sprig from a tree.
Our boys and girls have no doubt read about the Raven feeding
the Prophet Elijah in the wilderness. Although these birds do great
injury to the crops, they are still held in veneration by the Romans
on account of this one act,
THE RAVEN. 85
A friend of mine once. owned a Raven. After she had clipped
its wings so that it could not fly, it was permitted to go about the
yard. It took advantage of its freedom for it would steal the food
of other birds.
One day the lady was walking in the garden reading the ad-
dress of a letter, when, she saw the Raven watching her with great
ELIJAH AND THE RAVEN.
curiosity. The paper was of no value so she let it fall and walked
on as if it had been by accident. The Raven waited until she had
left the paper some yards behind, when it took a sidelong walk
86 THE RA VEN.
toward it, tore it into scraps and ran with the largest piece to a
tree branch where the paper was examined thoroughly and then
1 ~ c
-~- ~ I~
Words by X.,E. & HATUEWir.. isI6'hy T.- OCAPTON.
~ = Alerto -_~~
1. Fly a- way, lit -.tle birds! 'T Is ydur sea son to' go; The Win te is
2. The .leaves have turned red On the buslh-es and trees, .And fall from the
3. So 'now, lit tie -btrds, You must hast en a.- way Tothe South, where the
r-- U '.
corn Ing, With' cold winds and snow ;1 The flowers laae all gone From the mead-ows a
branch es In ev'-' ry light breeze," The moth i(es a sleep la the.' bed he has
sun-shine .And blos- soms will stay; 'ut re -turn with the Spring, Whenthe weath-er is
round, To live In their seeds And their roots un-def ground.
spun; The be.'stays.at home. With his hon-ey'd Work done.. PP
'fair. And sing your sweet songs In the warm pleasant air.
GOD'S BEAUTIFUL BIRDS.
BIRDS OF PARADISE. 91
itrds of Pqraidtic.
HE handsomest bird in all the
world is the Bird of Paradise. It
is found in New Guinea and neigh-
Sj~I' r boring islands, and is noted for its
splendor of plumage. Aside from this,
S though, it is like the crow in form,
'i habits, and even in voice.
Si.i'Unfortunately, though, it is only the
i^. s papa bird that is noted for splendid
KING BIRD OF PARADISE. plumage. The mamma bird has neither
brilliancy of colors nor handsome feath-
ers. The plumage of the papa bird not only shows brightness of
tints, but a glossy, velvety appearance and a beautiful play of colors.
Tufts of feathers generally grow from the shoulders, and these are
often prolonged so as to cover the wings.
The skins of these birds are usually sent over from the islands
without feet, thus giving rise to the notion that they had no feet;
some -people have thought that they spent their whole lives floating
in the air, except when they suspended themselves for a little time
by their long tails.
Pigafetta, however, in his voyage, around the world, tells us
that they have legs, but that the natives, when preparing the skins,
cut off the legs. These skins are so valuable as an article of mer-
chandise that the inhabitants prefer keeping the people in ignorance.
The skins are used in those countries for ornaments, and also as a
charm to preserve the life of the wearer against the dangers of
92 BIRDS OF PARADISE.
These birds are lively and take great care of their plumage.
They sit always on the perches of the cage, so that no part of it
may reach the floor or get in the least degree soiled.
When caged, they are fed on rice arid insects, but when wild
they eat the fruit of the teak-tree, and also the large butterflies
RED BIRD OF PARADISE.
which are plentiful in their native islands. They are timid birds,
hiding by day in the thick branches of the trees and only coming
from their hiding places at the rising and setting of the sun, for
food. Often they hold large dancing parties under the shade of
the trees, and seem to get much pleasure out of life.
FEA OTHER PICTURES. 93
THE tAztecs, the people who ruled Mexico four hundred years ago,
were very clever. They could copy any object in nature that they
saw around them. Frogs, birds, leaves, ducks, lizards, serpents,
foxes, wolves, and dogs, --of all these they made images in gold, sil--
ver, clay, and stone. Many of these they adored as gods, but most
of them they used as ornaments. The Spaniards, who took their
country from them in 1521, wondered at their skill. They said that
no silversmith in Spain could make such fine work.
But what they most admired, and what they had never seen before,
was the feather-work. Even the old soldiers, who had passed all
their lives in war, were struck with its beauty.
When the Aztecs were conquered, nearly all their beautiful arts
were lost. They soon forgot how to cut precious stones, and how to
mould silver and gold, for they were made slaves of, and had to
labor in the fields. The art of making objects in feathers is about
the only one they have kept and passed down to the present time
from father to son. Even this they are very careful not to show to
strangers. They work in secret, and carefully guard it from sight.
When in Mexico I tried hard to find out how they made the lovely
birds on cards, which they offered for sale on the streets. A friend
took me to the house of one of these artists. It was a little hovel,
where he sat on the mud floor and toiled. But when he heard us
coming he put away all his work and would not let us see it.
He was an Indian, with brown skin and black, straight hair. He
wore ragged clothes, and had an old blanket to 'keep him warm at
night. Poor as he was, no money would tempt him to show us the
secret process he had learned from his father, which had been kept
in the family for hundreds of years.
94 FEATHER PICTURES.
Great skill is required to produce a perfect picture. First, the
Indian traces orn the card the outlines of
the body of the bird in wax, just enough
for the feathers to stick to. Then he be-
gins at the lower part and places them on,
Sone at a time, one row lapping bver the
other, as a slater lays slates. He works
very slowly and patiently.
Perhaps this is the secret
of his perfect work, and
the reason that no other
V people have been able to
equal him. The result is, a bird that
looks as though it
might sing or fly.
The eyes are
made with small
glass beads, and
the bill and feet are painted so nicely
that they appear to be part of the bird.
Then he paints a twig or branch for it to
rest on, or makes one from a feather, and
his work is done.
The finest pictures are made from the
bright feathers of the humming-bird.
These are found only on the throats of
these living jewels, and it takes several birds to yield feathers
FEATHER PICTURES. 95
enough for one picture. When in the sun, or strong light, the
feathers glow like bright gems. They gleam like rubies and emer-
alds, and seem like live birds perched in the sunlight of their
As works of art, these feather pictures are admirable. As the
last remains of a gifted people, they take us back to the storied
FREDERICK A. OBER.
.1/~u R~" ~ i
1 eB~ A"
*' < & ,
k. '* ,
See, brother Harry, see that bird,
Up in the sky its cry is heard.
BLUE JAYS AT BREAKFAST,
THE HUMMING-BIRD. 99
[ /B .E "
rr^f-"P I=-^^, R Y" r^ K '
' ^-- ( A
M OW aptlyothe Indian names this winged fairy when he calls
it a "living sunbeam.". From its body flashes all the
bright'gleams known to metal and precious stone.
The tiniest of birds, it has not note or song, yet no other bird
is niore admired. Its brilliant plumage, its never-ceasing activity,
loo THE HUMMING-BIRD.
SWORD BILL HUMNIDG=BIRD.
its cunning, its bravery and its rapid flight, make it a source of
never ending wonder.
It dances about in the sunshine, looking like streaks of brilliant
light; and so rapid is the vibration of their fine and elastic wings,