Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Tales about Birds
 Tales about Fishes
 Back Cover

Title: Grandpapa's tales about birds and fishes
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002196/00001
 Material Information
Title: Grandpapa's tales about birds and fishes
Alternate Title: Tales about birds and fishes
Physical Description: 160 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. ; 13 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bland, J
Milner and Sowerby
Publisher: Milner and Sowerby
Place of Publication: Halifax Eng.
Publication Date: 1852
Subject: Birds -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Fishes -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Marine mammals -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- Halifax
Statement of Responsibility: by J. Bland.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002196
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002446088
oclc - 17341593
notis - AMF1331
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front 1
        Front 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Tales about Birds
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Tales about Fishes
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
    Back Cover
        Page 162
        Page 163
Full Text




, 7

~ -~LJ










IN introducing the feathered creation to my young
readers, it may be necessary to say I have depart-
ed from the course usually adopted by writers on
this subject, in not keeping to the regular classi-
fication of the different birds, but have followed a
more simple and natural course, in selecting only
those of each different species that admit of a his-
tory, and whose instincts, habits, and peculiar
formation, render them worthy of a description.
My reasons for so doing are these:-To have
told my young friends that the beautiful little hum.
ming bird was of the same species as the black
and sombre raven, and the chirping sparrow, of
the same class as the nightingale, would have im-
parted but little real information, unless I could
have explained the relationship, and to have done
so would not only have been tedious and uninter-
esting, but required a more lengthened detail, than
our limits will allow us to use. Again; I have
not given a very minute description of the figure
of any bird, for two reasons ; first, because to de.

scribe minutely the appearance of birds, with whose
figure the reader is already familiar, would be
superfluous; and secondly, because we are asre
that a single glance at the sketch given by oi
tist of any bird, will give a better idea of its H
ral appearance than the most careful and laboure
descriptions could possibly do.
My primary object in compiling this little work,
is the instruction and amusement of my readers;
and I think that the more brief and concise my
remarks, the better I shall be understood, and the
nearer I shall attain my object.





Eagle ................................... .. .* II
Bald Eagle ............................. .* 18
Bearded Griffin l. ............................*
Kite..........................................* 1
Falcon .. ......................... .............. i
Gos-Hawk .................................... 17
Sparrow-Hawk ................................. 17
Buzzard............. .............. ******** 19
Butcher Bird .................................... 15
Osprey ......................................... 21
Common Owl ................................. 1
White Owl ...................................... S3
Vulture ............... .......... ..........**** 2
Ostrich ................2................... 27
Cassowary.... ...................... ........... SO9
Em .................................... .. 29
Dodo ................................ ;........ 31
Pelican ........................................ 81
Pelican of Africa ............................. 33
Swan ......................... ................. 35
Wild Swan ....................... .............. 85
Goose ........................................ 87
Cormorant ...........*.***.******.....**.... .... 87
Gannet ........................... .............. 39
Duck ............................................ 89


Puffin ........................................... 41
Coot .... ................................... 41
The Great Awk ...........................
Gull 6 0 ee.......................... eeoee
King-Fisher................ ..................
Cock .......................................... 47
Hen ............................................ 47
Pheasant ..................... ................ 49
Silver Pheasant ............................... 51
Golden Pheasant ......... ................... 51
Peacock ......................................... 853
Partridge ....................................... 55
Guinea Hen............ ........... ....... 55
Wood Grouse ............................... 57
Ruffed Grouse................................. 59
Pintailed Grouse ............................ 59
Bustard ................................... .. 61
Turkey .......................................... 63
Quail ....................................... 63
Heron..... .................................*.... 65
Crane ......... .............................. 67
Spoonbill ...................................... 67
Stork ........................................ 69
Bittern ..................................... 71
Flamingo ..................................... 73
Snipe ....... ............................... .. 73
Woodcock ....................................... 75
Lapwing ......................................... 75
Raven.......................................... 77
Rook .......................................... 79
Jack Daw ....................... ..... .......... 79
Magpie ................................ ....... 81
Jay .......................................... 83
Roller .................... ....................... 85

Toucan ................,, .............. ... *.. 85
Wood-pecker ................ .............. 87
Bird of Paradise ................................. 91

C .Tu Dove ...................................... 9
Turtle Dove..................................... 97
Sparrow........................................... 99
Thrush ......................................... 101
Blackbird ................................... 101
Nightingale .................................... 103
Lark .......................................... 103
Goldfinch .................................. 105
Bulfinch..... ................... ............ 105
Swallow.......................................... 107
Humming Bird ........................ ....... 109


Whale ......................................
--- Spermaceti............................... 115
Porpoise ..................................... l5
Dolphin........... .............................. 117
White Shark ........................ .... ...... 119
Sword Fish..................................... 121
Torpedo ....................................... 123
Skate........................................... 123
Salmon........................................... 125
Trout... ......................................... 129
Smelt............ ............................... 129
Eel............................................. 131
Cod ........................................ 131.
Whiting ....................................... 133


Coal Fish ................................. .. .... 13S
Haddock ....................................... 135
Sole ..;.......... ............................... 135
Turbot........................................ 87
John Doree............................. ......
Mackerel..................................... 141
Tunny .................... ................. 141
Mullet ....................... ................... 143
Lupus, or Sea Wolf ......................... .. 143
Herring......................................... 145
Shad .......................................... 145
Anchovy ......................................... 145
Star Gazer ......... ..... ...... ............. 147
Curnard ......................................... 147
Pilot Fish....................................... 149
Flying Scorpion................................. 149
Flying Fish ..................................... 151
Sea Porcupine .. ............................... 151
Sturgeon .......... ............................. 153
Pike ................. ........................ 153
Carp ............................................. 155
Perch ....................................... 155
Gudgeon .................................... 57
Barbel 0 ............ ............................. 157
Paper Nautilus ................................ 159




THN great strength, courage, and fierceness of the
Eagle, together with is stately bearing, has ob.
trained for it the title of "king of birds." Eagles
are found in mountainous and thinly populated
countries; they are fierce and proud, and very
difficult to tame; often after years of care they
will take the first opportunity of escaping, and
seem in a moment to regain all their natural love
ot liberty, and fondness for their native solitudes.
Eagles are dangerous neighbours at alltimes, but the
more so when bringing up their young, as at that
time they carry away hares, rabbits, geese, ducks,
lambs, and kids, and often destroy fawns and young
calves. It is well known fact that during a famine
in Ireland, a poor man supplied his family amply
with food, by robbing an eagle's nestof the different
animals brought in by the old ones to feed their
young. A great many eagles are destroyed in the
Highlands of Scotland, where they dogreatmisohief
among the lambs; in fact in many parts a premium
is offered for their destruction. Eagles are cruel
even to their own offspring, driving them from the
nest when very young, to provide for themselves,
and often destroying them in a fit ofpassion, or when
food is scarce. Many stories aretoldof eagles carry.
ing off young children, such things are, however,
very improbable, as from their natural dislike to
man, they are always anxious to avoid his vicinity;
especially when more natural food can be obtained
at a less risk.




Tai Bald Eagle is a native of North Carolina,
and takes its name from the fact of its head and
neck being quite white, while the rest of its body
is brown; as it lives on fish, it may often be seen
perched on some high rook overlooking the sea,
here it sits for hours watching for the fish-hawk,
whose flightit can distinguish amongstthehundreds
of other birds sailing beneath it, as soon as it per-
ceives one of these birds dart upon its prey and rise
with fish in its mouth, it sets off in pursuit. The
fish-hawk soon perceives its enemy and exerts its
utmost energies to mount above it, the weight of
the fish it has just caught rendering its flight more
difficult. The eagle gains on it, and it is obliged to
drop the fish; the eagle poises itself a moment in
the air, as if to take more certain aim, and then de-
scends like lightning, overtaking and snatching
the fish ere it reaches the water, and bears it
away to its nest in triumph.
THa Bearded Griffin is a native of the Alps, and of
all eagles, is the most fierce and powerful, it is an
object of dread to the Alpine shepherd, amongst
whose flocks they commit great havoc, killing
and devouring the lambs in great numbers. They
also destroy a great number of kids, hares, and
chamois. They have one feature, different from the
rest of their tribe, and that is they hunt in small
parties of four or six, generally supposed to con-
sist of the old birds and their young ones. When
the young birds are in the nest, the female lays
more eggs to be hatched by the heat of their bo-
dies, so that when the first brood is ready for
flight the ePcond is just hatched.





THE Kite belongs to the Falcon tribe, and is well
known in the southern parts of Great Britain,
where it is often seen soaring high in the air, and
looking at one glance over a great expanse of woods
and fields in search of prey, and uttering a plain-
tive cry. The Kite is distinguished from the rest
of its tribe, by its forked tail, and the steady man-
ner it supports itself in the air; it is not very
swift in its flight, and chiefly wages war against
young chickens and wounded birds, it is also very
bold in its depredations, and has been known to
descend on a brood of chickens and carry one
away, although several parties have been present
and have endeavoured to drive it away with sticks
and stones. It does not dart upon its prey like
the falcon but approaches it sideways and strikes
it with its wing.
THB common Falcon is a bird of so much courage
and ferocity, that it is dreaded by all birds, even
those five times its size. A very young Falcon
has been known to attack a large wild goose, and
of course got well beaten for its pains. At the
sound of the voice of the Falcon, all the small birds
hurry away and hid themselves from its sight, with
symptoms of the utmost terror. Formerly when
hawking was a favorite pastime in England, the
breed of falcons was strictly preserved, as they
were endowed with swiftness, courage,-and what
was of still greater recommendation,--docility and
attachment. They consequently soon knew their
feeder and learned to obey his voice. By a course
of proper training, a falcon may soon be taught to
pursue all kinds of game, such as hares, quail, par-






tridges, &c., but the pursuit of the heron affords
the greatest amusement. They are taken in
hooded, and as soon as the game is raised, the
hood is taken off, and they are dispatched after it.
Instead of flying away from the Falcon, the heron
mounts towards the sky, almost rising perpendi-
cularly, whilst its bold pursuer keeps pace with its
flight, and endeavours to get above it; they grow
less and less to the eyes of the spectator, until
they are both quite lost in the clouds; after a few
moments however they again come in sight, ra-
pidly descending in close and fierce combat. In
vain the poor heron endeavours to shake off its
little but courageous foe, the contest is soon at an
end, and the noble falcon finishes the struggle by
killing or disabling the heron, which becomes the
captive of the sportsman.
THa Gos-hawk and Sparrow-hawk may be trained
with some difficulty to the chase, but they seldom
repay the trouble their education requires. Their
wings are much shorter than the rest of the falcon
tribe, consequently their flight is slower ; they are
also more difficult, and are very unstable in their
affections and obedience, paying no attention to
the voice of their keeper, and disregarding the
lure ; (the lure is a stuffed bird of the same descrip-
tion to pursue.) Independent of this, such birds
as the Gos-hawk and Sparrow-hawk pursue, fly
straight forward, so that the falconer soon looses
sight of them, and cannot see the sport, besides
running the risk of losing his hawk that has cost
him so much pains to train. Hawks are common
in England.
160 B





TsE Buzzard is a bird well known in England,
being more abundant amongst us than any bird of
the species, it is of sedentary and indolent habits,
and although endowed by nature with weapons
to defend itself, and strength to use them, is the
most cowardly of all birds when attacked by the
sparrow-hawk, although equal in size and strength,
it suffers itself to be shamefully beaten without of-
fering the slightest resistance, it is also very slug-
gish in its habits, seldom putting itself to the trou-
ble of pursuing small birds, but contents itself with
frogs, mice, and insects, and in summer it robs
the nests of other birds and sucks their eggs.
Many have tried to train these birds, but have
signally failed, in fact so stupid are they, and so
little capable of instruction, that the phrase "stu-
pid as a buzzard" has become proverbial.
TaE Butcher bird, although not larger than a
thrush, is bold and courageous to an astonishing de-
gree; they will attack without fear, birds five times
their own size, and even the hawk and the kite are
compelled to yield to this daring little fellow; in
fact it never shuns an engagement even with the
larger birds of prey. Although they can live upon
insects, they prefer flesh, and subsist on small birds
which they pursue, capture, and strangle in a mo-
ment, they then fix the dead body on some strong
thorn and pull it to pieces with their bill. There
is one feature in their character well worthy of re-
mark, it is that while other birds of prey drive out
theiryoung at an early age to provide for themselves,
the Butcher bird never forsakes them, even when
grown up, and they live amicably together.






THE Osprey, or as it is more generally called, the
Sea Eagle, is a native of both Europe and Ameri-
ca, and is nearly as large as the golden eagle,
being often nearly four feet in length, it is not so
long in the wing as the golden eagle, as that
bird's wings, when expanded, reach ten or twelve
feet, whereas the Osprey's seldom reach more than
seven. It subsists entirely on fish, and is only
seen near the sea shore, and on the borders of large
lakes. As the Osprey lays only two eggs during
the whole year, they are not very numerous, al-
though they are to be met with in many parts of
the world. They are strong and active on the wing,
and their eyes are so formed as to see distinctly in
the dark, so that they are able to pursue and cap-
ture their prey by night as well as day.
ALL Owls may be considered as nocturnal plun-
derers, as their organs of vision are so formed as to
see best by night; in fact many of them are so com-
pletely dazzled by daylight, as to be incapable of
either flight or resistance. A very amusing scene
takes place whenever an owl is surprised by day-
light, away from its hole. All the small birds in the
neighbourhood immediately surround it and scream
and flap their wings in its face, insulting it by every
means in their power; the poor owl, blinded and
confounded, patiently endures their abuse until the
shades of evening again restore its vision, and
then it frequently makes some of them pay dearly
for their insults. The voice of the owl is very
melancholy, and is considered by ignorant people
an omen of some misfortune or sudden death.







THEnn is certainly something very unpleasant, to
say the least of it, in the notes of these birds, which
is often heard breaking the stillness of midnight
in a most disagreeable manner. But of all owls,
the common White, or Barn Owl, sees best by night,
no matter how dark the night, it can perceive the
smallest moving thing, and woe to the unhappy
little mouse that ventures to peep from its hole
when the Barn Owl is near. This bird, like the
rest of its species, is very shy of man, and also
very difficult, if not the most difficult of all birds
to tame, in fact if taken when in full feather, they
will die in captivity, as they refuse all kinds of
food, and absolutely starve themselves to death;
the farmer however seldom interferes with the liber-
ty and seclusion of the Barn Owl, being well aware
of the great good it does in destroying the mice
and other vermin that infect his barns. It is an
old saying that one owl is worth six cats. There
is an account given in an old book of an immense
number of mice that overrun the marshes near
South-minster, so that they eat up the grass to the
very roots, "at last, it says," a great number of
strange owls came and devoured all the mice in
a very few days. I must not forget to mention
that bird fanciers imitate the note of the owl in the
following manner, as alure to catch singing birds,--
having previously besmeared the branches of some
thick bush with bird lime, they hide themselves
and give the call; as soon as they hear the well
known note, the little birds rush into the bush
where they expect to find their enemy, instead of
which they get fast in the lime and become captive.




~c' _~s~


THE Vulture is the largest and most voracious of
all birds of prey, and although strong and powerful,
is very cowardly; never, except in extreme cases,
attacking anything living, but devouring the dead,
and the more putrid and stinking the carcase, the
more attractive it is to it. There are several
kinds of vultures, but they are all alike indolent,
cowardly, greedy, and dirty. There are countries
however where these birds are of great service, as
in Grand Cairo in Egypt, where they cleanse the
streets of all the carrion and filth thrown there
by the careless inhabitants, which would contami-
nate the air and breed disease; they are the great
scavengers of that city, and no person is allowed,
on any account, to destroy them; it is a very
common sight in Egypt to see several vultures
tearing a carcase to pieces in company with wild
dogs, nor do they ever quarrel over the disgusting
repast. Vultures are also of singular service in
Brazil, where they abound, from the fact of their
being instrumental in destroying the eggs of the
crocodile, and thus checking their increase. A
number of vultures will sit quietly in some neigh-
bouring tree watching the crocodile deposit her
eggs in the sand, which she does frequently to the
number of one hundred and fifty, or more, cover-
ing them over with sand and leaving them for the
sun to hatch ; they watch her patiently until she
has finished her task and taken her departure, and
then with loud cries they descend upon the place,
uncover the eggs, and in a few moments the whole
number is devoured.





THE largest and most powerful of all birds is the
Ostrich, being often as much as eight feet from
the head to the ground. It is also the most vora-
cious of all living birds, for it will devour al-
most any thing, even stones, glass, and iron ; in
fact it seems incapable of distinguishing what sub.
stances are fit and what are unfit for food, but so
long as the stomach gets filled with something, it
does not appear to care what. This bird is to be
met with only in Africa, where it inhabits the most
barren and solitary deserts, where vegetation is
scarcely ever seen, and where rain-no rain ever
descends. The Ostrich lays from thirty to fifty
eggs, which are very large, some of them weighing
above a stone, leaving them to the heat of the sun
by day, but carefully brooding over them by night.
The feather of the Ostrich is black and white, and is
very valuable, and it is for these that this inno-
fensive bird is hunted and destroyed by mankind ;
for this purpose they have to use their best and
swiftest horses, for the Ostrich cannot fly, but on
its legs is the swiftest of all animals, and it would be
quite impossible for the fleetest race horse in the
world to overtake it, did it run in a straight line;
but unfortunately for the poor bird, this is not the
case. When pursued, the Ostrich runs in circles,
while the hunters keep a straight line, relieving
each other and continuing the chase for two or
three days together: at last overcome with fatigue
and hunger, the Ostrich hides its head in the sand
and submits to its fate. In some parts, they tame
them in great numbers for the purpose of obtaining
their valuable feathers. They also frequently use
them as horses, and it is no uncommon sight to see
two negroes riding on one ostrich.







THE Cassowary is a native of the most eastern In-
dies, and if not so large as the ostrich, quite
equals it in strength and fleetness, and has the
same voracious appetite, swallowing stones, glass,
iron, tin, leather, wood, copper, and lead, in short
any thing that comes in its way; when pursued,
the Cassowary runs with most amazing swiftness,
and its manner of going is very singular. It does
not go direct forward, but gives a sort of kick up
behind with one leg and then makes a tremendous
bound forward with the other. Although exceed-
ingly strong, and well fitted by nature for a life of
warfare, it never attacks the smallest animal, and
even prefers flight to combat, but often when hard
pressed will turn upon its pursuers, kicking like a
horse, and trampling them under its feet.
THE Emu is the ostrich of America, but is a bird so
little known, that few of its peculiarities can be
given with any certainty, they are however extreme-
y harmless and mild, and can be tamed with ease,
and become very familiar. It is stated that their
flesh is excellent food. Travellers assertthe manner
of hatching their young is very singular, twenty
or more females lay their eggs in one common
nest, when this is done, the male bird drives them
all away, and places himself upon the eggs, first
however putting two on one side which he does not
sit upon. By the time the young ones are hatched
of course these two eggs have gone bad, and he
then breaks them, the contents attract swarms of
flies which serve the young birds to live upon until
they are of an age to provide for themselves.






Tau Dodo is, without exception, one of the most
clumsy, awkward, and unwieldly productions of
nature, it cannot fly, and its legs are too short for
it to walk fast. It is a fat, silly bird, easily cap-
tured, for it is not able to escape, nor yet to offer
resistance, even its tail is misplaced, and is dis-
proportionate to the rest of its body, its whole
appearance at once stamping its character as a
piece of stupid deformity. It was originally dis-
covered by the Dutch on the Isle of France, and
such was its disgusting figure, that they could not
be prevailed upon to eat its flesh, although proved
to be good and wholesome food, and many travel-
lers speak highly of its flavour. From the great
size of the bird and its extreme fatness, four Dodos
make a sufficient meal for one hundred,
THE Pelican is remarkable for its large bill, and
still more so for the enormous bag or pouch un-
derneath it. This bag cannot be seen when empty,
but when full of fish, the size of it is astonishing;
some idea may be given from the fact that when
quite full it will contain as many fishes as would
serve fifty or sixty persons for a dinner, or if filled
with any liquid, would hold nearly four gallons.
The Pelican of America is an extremely indo.
lent bird, and never flies except when hunger com-
pels it; they fly some twenty or thirty feet above
the sea, their head turned on one side so as to
look down on the sea with one eye, and when
they perceive a fish, they dart upon it, seize itj
and deposit it in their pouch.





THE Pelican of Africa is not unlike the Swan in
shape, but is larger in the body and bill, its plumage
is also somewhat like the Swan. The eyes are very
small, and taking it altogether, it has a very melan-
choly appearance; it generally takes the whole of
the day to fill the pouch with fish, and then towards
evening it retires to land to eat its spoil at leisure ;
as night approaches it is again hungry, and again it
goes forth reluctantly on its fishing excursion.
It is naturally lazy in all its habits, the female is
even too indolent to build a nest to deposit her eggs
in, but lays them on the bare ground and hatches
them there. It is easy to tame. It is asserted by
travellers that the Indians train them to fishing,
and that they will go away at the command of
their master and return with their bags well load-
ed with fish, a small portion of which is given to
them as a reward. Pelicans have one singular pro-
pensity, and that is, that although a web-footed
and clumsy bird, whenever they retire to rest, they
will not roost anywhere but on a tree, as if in
imitation of the more graceful and active feather-
ed tenants of the woods. Pelicans are said to live
to a great age, there is an account of one that
was kept in the city of Mechlin, that was up-
wards of fifty years old. It is also recorded in
history that the Emperor Maximilian kept a tame
Pelican that lived for eighty years, always atten-
ded his army when it marched, and seemed fond
of hearing the music of the band. This bird, it is
said, had a daily allowance, from the state,for its
support, by order of the Emperor.
160 0






THE Swan is the largest and most graceful of all
British birds, but to be seen to advantage must
be on its favourite element, the water; on land
it has the same awkward gait of all water fowl,
but on water there is not a more graceful figure in
creation. The tame swan is exceedingly moder-
ate and delicate in its appetite, a very small quan-
tity of corn orbread being all it requires besides the
herbs that generally grow by the side of the water.
Swans were at one time a rarity in England, and
in the reign of Edward the Fourth, none but the
king's son, and those noblemen who were posses-
sed of certain privileges, were allowed to keep a
swan, they have now however become quite com-
mon in this country, and there are few gentlemen
having a fish pond or lake on their ground, but
what have one or more of these graceful birds.
THE Wild Swan, although greatly resembling the
tame one, is quite a distinct bird, and differs ma-
terially in its general habits and internal construc-
tions. The colour of the tame swan is either white
or all black, that of the wild one ash colour and
white. In another point they also differ, the tame
swan is one of the most silent birds living, and
the wild one has a very loud, harsh, and disagree.
able voice, which can be heard at a great distance:
in many other respects, which our space will not
permit us to particularize, they differ so much,
as to show wide distinction between the two birds.
The wild swan is very strong on the wing, and
can fly one hundred miles an hour; they are also
the longest lived birds in existence and are said
to live three hundred years.







THE Goose is a bird too well known to require
any lengthened description, and the tame goose is
merely the wild one domesticated. In the fens
of Lincolnshire, geese are kept in immense num-
bers, it being no uncommon thing in that country
for one farmer to have several thousand geese.
They are bred principally for their feathers and
quills, for which the poor birds are stripped as often
as five times a year. It is asserted by some that
they do not suffer pain by the operation, but this
is contrary to reason, under all circumstances it
is a cruel practice. In other respects these birds
are treated well enough, having a goose-herd, or
as it is pronounced a gozzard, to attend to them
properly, and drive them to the water twice a day.
The flesh of the goose is wholesome and nutritious
Or all birds the Cormorant is the best fisher, and
although a fat clumsy bird, is continually on the
wing in pursuit of its prey. Throughout the
whole of China these birds are reared and trained
for the purpose of fishing, one person having often
an hundred fishing Cormorants ; they take them
out perched on the sides of their boats, and at a
given signal they dive into the water in search of
prey; when they see a fish they seize it by the
middle and take it to the boat, returning again to
the pursuit. If they meet with a large fish, they
assist each other; one seizing it by the head, and
the other by the tail, in this manner they carry is
to their master who rewards each bird at night with
a portion of the prey they have taken during the day.






THE Gannet "or Soland Goose," inhabits the Is.
lands of the north of Scotland, the Skellig Islands
off the coast of Ireland, and those Islands in the
North Sea of Norway. But these birds are seen
in the greatest numbers on the "Bass Island," in
the Frith of Edinburgh. The Gannet is a bird of
passage, but its movements are regulated by the
immense shoals of herrings that annually visit our
coast, and supply them as well as us with food.
Wherever this bird is seen, the herrings are certainly
there also, and the fishermen prepare their nets and
take these fish in millions. The fishermen call the
Gannet the "informer," on account of its always
denoting the vicinity of the herrings, and when
they leave our coasts, the gannets depart also.
OF all birds the Duck is the easiest to rear, and it
is well that nature has so ordained it, as the Duck
is the most negligent and careless of mothers, in
many cases leaving her eggs until they are addled,
and apparently forgetting that she has a nest at
all. She is also very careless of her young, and
thinks she has done all that is required of her
when she has shown them the water. It is on
this account that the hatching of Duck's eggs are
so often entrusted to the hen, who is quite a dif-
ferent sort of nurse, and attends to her supposed
progeny with great watchfulness. It is a very
amusing scene to see a hen with her brood of
ducklings the first time they come near the water;
on the sight of their favorite element the whole
brood rush into it, heedless of the alarmed cries of
the old hen, who fancies her offspring are rushing
to their destruction.






THE Puffin visits our shores about May, and con-
tinues until the approach of winter, when it takes
its departure for milder regions. As theirwings are
very short, and but ill adapted for flying, it is more
than probable these journeys are performed more
on the water than in the air; after a storm, hun-
dreds of their bodies will be found cast away on
shore, for as they cannot fish during stormy wea-
ther, their strength becomes exhausted before they
can reach their destination, and thus they perish.
The Puffin lays but one egg, which it deposits in
a deep hole in the ground, but if that be taken
away it will lay another, and so on to a third and
fourth. To catch puffins they used to ferret them
from their holes like rabbits.

THE Coot is not exactly what is called web-footed,
but each toe has a broad fringe on each side, which
enables it to swim with great facility. The Coot
is always found near large streams remote from
man's habitations; it builds its nest with the weeds
that the stream supplies, amongst the rushes float-
ing on the surface and rising and falling with the
tide; it sometimes occurs that the nest gets washed
into the middle of the stream; when this is the
case, the old bird regains her nest, and sitting in
it, with her legs, she steers it to some safer asy-
lum where the thickness of the weed will prevent
another accident. Though the water penetrates
the nest, she hatches her eggs in the wet.





THe Auk lives almost entirely on the water, never
venturing on land, except for the purpose of breed-
ing. The Auk, like the puffin, has its legs so
awkwardly placed as to render walking a difficult
operation, in fact it can scarcely move without
tumbling over; this position of the legs, however,
adapts them admirably for a residence in the water,
and they can dive and swim with astonishing ra-
pidity. They live entirely upon fish, and are very
fat, so it is evident they are very successful fisher-
men, and it is stated that they are very vora-
cious; a very young one, not so big as a pigeon,
having been known to swallow three entire her-
rings before its appetite was appeased. They are
of friendly and social disposition, and when on
shore, may be seen standing in rank and file like
so many soldiers, on the ledge of some rock.

THE Guillemot is another kind of auk, differing
from that bird only in having a longer, straighter,
and much slenderer bill; early in the morning,
even at day-break, the Guillemot leaves its nest
and young, and is absent until night-fall, during
the day it is busy fishing for food, so that when it
returns at night, it is greeted with screams loud
and clamerous, by its hungry young. What-
ever fish they capture during the day, passes into
the stomach and gets partly digested, and is re-
duced into an oily matter, which they eject into
the mouth of their young, and being exceedingly
nutritious, they soon become astonishingly fat;
but their flesh is bad eating.






THE Gull is a bird well known all over the king-
dom, it is seen in the greatest numbers on our
coldest and rockiest shores, but may often seen
sailing closely over some river, watching the
smaller kind of fish that it preys upon ; nO is it
an uncommon sight to see it following the plough,
picking up the insects from the fresh turned soil.
The rock of St. Kilda is stated to be three quar-
ters of a mile high at least, and on the face of
this rock, and disporting in the air, may be seen
millions of these birds, flying or resting in perfect
security. Gulls may be easily tamed, and many
persons keep a tame one in their garden. A gen-
tleman near Newcastle had one in his possession
many years; at length it flew away, of course they
gave it up as lost; what was their surprise how-
ever when the following spring the bird again
made its appearance in the garden, and continued
with them until winter, when it again took its
leave 1 this it continued for many years.
THIS bird, though ungraceful in figure, is the most
beautiful of all our water birds; the upper part
of its beak is black, and the lower yellow; the
crown of the head is black, spotted with light
azure, the back and tail are of the most beautiful
azure, and the under side of its body is orange
coloured; a broad mark of orange colour passes
from the beak beyond the eyes, and ends in a round
white spot; it frequents the banks of rivers, dart-
ing upon the fish it observes in the stream with
deadly certainty. It feeds entirely upon fish, but
does not digest the scales and bones, but vomits
them back again.





Tue Cock was the first bird ever reclaimed from
his native forest by man ; reared and dome ted
to contribute to his luxuries and wants. not
ascertained with any accuracy when the was
first brought into England, but he was originally
from Persia. No animal in the world possesses
more courage than the cock. In China, India, in
fact all over the east, cock-fighting is the sport
of kings and princes, and used to be so in this
country; but as education and refinement have
progressed, this barbarous custom has declined,
and is now only practised by the vulgar and un-
educated. The Cock in his wild state is perfectly
black, his comb and wattles being purple and yel-
low, but the strangest thing is, that his bones, when
boiled, are as black as ebony; how naturalists ac-
count for this I have no idea, such however is
most assuredly the case.

THE Hen is the most anxious and careful of mo-
thers; her affection for her young is shown in
every action; her very nature seems altered, and
she fearlessly attacks man and beast in their de-
fence, she thinks likely to molest them, and on
the approach of danger she calls her young to-
gether, takes them under her wings, or stands
boldly for* to defend them. We once were wit-
ness of a combat between a hen and a rat, in which
the former, although bitten severely, came off vic-
torious. Hens are a source of profit to many
people, for a good hen well kept, will lay above
two hundred eggs in a year.





THIs beautiful bird, now so common armo t us,
is not a native of this country, but wa ally
found in Asia minor on the banks in H ver
"Phasis," from whence it takes its nl All
other birds of the poultry kind, have, when domes-
ticated, continued to thrive under thefostering care
of man. The Pheasant, however, disdaining his
protection, still continues its attachment to its
natural freedom, where the warm rays of the sun
suits its tender constitution, and the woods sup-
ply it with more natural food. The Pheasant in
its wild state lays eighteen or twenty eggs, when
domesticated she never lays more than ten; again,
when in the wood she brings up her young with
care, and defends them with courage; but when
in captivity, so careless is she in her maternal
duties, that it is usual to get a hen to supply her
place; altogether the Pheasant seems better let
alone in its freedom than brought into captivity.
Many consider the cock pheasant superior to the
peacock in beauty, this however is a matter of
taste, for both birds justly claim our admiration,
and it is as far beyond the power of the pen to
describe, as it is beyond the power of the pencil
to portray the colour, variety, and richness of
the plumage of either. It is recorded of Solon,
the ce ated Greek Philosopher, that when
taken Wb the court of some barbarous king,
surrounded with all the pomp of eastern splendour,
he was asked if he had ever seen anything so fine.
"Yes," was his calm reply, "I have seen the
beautiful plumage of the pheasant."
160 D






THE Silver Pheasant is a native of Chinabut is
much more hardy in its nature, and ore
easily domesticated, and they therefo ere
and therebe seen living comfortably an tly
among the poultry in a gentleman It
is at first a very bold bird when brought among
the poultry, and will fearlessly attack the peacock.
It soon however settles down quietly, and often at
last couples with the common hen. Some writers
have asserted that the pheasants will eat flesh,
and say if one happens to fall sick, all the rest
will fall upon it, kill it, and soon devour it; and
that they will also feed upon carrion; these how-
ever are assertions that want 'corroborating, and
many who have studied the habits and natural
propensities of this bird, state very differently.
There are many kinds of pheasants, but of all
others the
Or China is the most beautiful in plumage. As this
bird is exceedingly scarce in this country, a de-
scription of its colour my give my young readers
some faint idea of its extreme beauty; all the un-
der part of this bird is bright scarlet, the tail is
chestnut and black, and from the head rises long
bright yellow feathers, which hang gracefully over
the back pf the bird; the colours on the side of the
neck are'brange and black, while the feathers on
the back are bright yellow, bordered with crimson;
the wings are beautifully varied with brown and
red, surmounted at the base with deep blue; the
bill and legs are bright yellow; the figure of the
bird may be seen by the accompanying sketch.






THIS beautiful bird, now so common wit as
originally brought from the East In is
still found in a wild state, and in imm
in Java and Ceylon. Although firstbii Rto
the West on account of its extreme beautyan
soon began to turn it into use, fattening them and
selling them to the wealthy at a great price as a
dainty for their feasts. The great Roman Orator,
" Hortensius," was the first who served them up
at an entertainment, and ever after, no feast was
considered complete without them. Now whether
the Romans were superior to the cooks of the pre-
sent day, or whether their appetites and tastes
were less refined, or whether the Peacock itself
has altered in flavour, are points which we cannot
determine, but certain it is that the peacocks of
the present time are tough, dry, and unwholesome
eating, and would be considered by our poorest
peasantry anything but a dainty.
The beauty of the Peacock is its only recom-
mendation, although beyond doubt a great orna-
ment to a gentleman's lawn, it is a great pest to
his gardener, rooting up his seed and nipping the
buds off the choicest flowers and plants, and being
a bird of most voracious appetite, the mischief he
commits more than compensates for his beauty,
and the horrid scream of its disagreeable voice
takes away half the pleasure we have in looking
at it. The Italians have a quaint saying "that
the Peacock has the plumage of an angel, the voice
of a devil, and the guts of a thief." The Pea-
cock will live for about twenty years, and it is
three years old before its beautiful tail appears.

q f.





THE Partridge is a bird well known almost in
every part of the world, but it is fou ij the
greatest numbers in temperate cli ahe
manners and habits of the Partridge rei nose
of poultry in general, but it is greatly r to
all other kinds in cunning, instinct, and sagacity.
It may be occasioned by its having more enemies,
and all those little arts of evasion become natural
to it, which were at first acquired through necessity.
Whenever a man or dog approaches the nest of
the Partridge, the hen uses every means in her
power to draw him away, she will show herself
just in front, and pretend to be lame or wounded,
hopping a short way and then falling down as if
exhausted, taking care however that they do not
get too near, and yet never getting far enough
away to discourage her pursuer, by these means
she draws him away from the vicinity of her
young, and then taking wing, she leaves him gazing
after her in astonishment.
THE Guinea Hen is known by many different
names, by some it is called the "Barbary hen,"
by others "the bird of Numidia," by others the
"Tamis Bird," and by the majority the "Pintada,"
being the name of that part of Africa from whence
it was first brought. The male and female Pin-
tada so closely resemble each other, that they are
with difficulty distinguished. They appear more
formed for ornament than utility, as they take
great labour and trouble in rearing, and their flesh,
when cooked, is greatly inferior to that of poultry
in general.





THE Wood Grouse, or as it is more genu call-
ed, the Cock of the Wood," is a fine bird,
about the size of a turkey, and is 9 fre-
quently found on healthy and lofty mountains,
and in thick forests away from the abodes of man-
kind. During the winter it keeps in the darkest
and inmost parts of the wood, but in summer it
frequently ventures from its retreat, to make free
with the farmer's corn. Its flesh is extremely
delicate, and considered so great a luxury, that it
is eagerly sought after by the sportsman; but as
it is a timid and watchful bird, it requires a deal
of care and stratagem to get within shot. When
in its native wood, it may generally be found hid
in the thick foliage of some stately oak, or pick-
ing the cones from some lofty pine; it also feeds
upon cranberries insects, and ant's eggs. The fe-
male is a smaller bird than the male, and so unlike
him in the colour of her feathers, that she might
be taken for quite another species of bird; she
lays from six to eight eggs, which are about the
size of a hen's egg, they are white, marked with
yellow, she generally selects a dry and mossy
place, and when she goes forth in search of food,
she carefully covers them over with dry leaves
and moss, so that it is no easy matter to find a
nest. As soon as the young are hatched, they are
very active, and run after their mother with sur-
prising agility, they are a hardy bird, and would
increase rapidly but for the many enemies which
daily destroy them.





Tais singular and handsome bird is a native of
America, where in the thick and extensive forests
of that country it is found in great numbers, it is
called the Partridge of America, but as will be
seen in our sketch, it differs materially from the
partridge of Europe in appearance. Its flesh is
said to be excellent eating, so of course is eagerly
sought after by the sportsman; it is easily shot,
for it takes no pains to escape, and will remain
sitting still on the branches of the pine after being
shot at, and seem perfectly insensible to the dan-
ger it is in; when however it is started from its
resting place, it has a singular habit of dropping
from the tree to within a few feet of the ground
before it commences its flight, this often induces
the clumsy and inexperienced sportsman to think
his first fire has taken effect, and that he has killed
his bird, until he sees it suddenly dart off and
wing its rapid flight through the forest.

THE Pintailed Grouse, or as it is called in its na.
tive country, the Damascus Partridge, is found in
many parts of the south of Europe, also in Africa,
Arabia, Syria and Persia; it is a very handsome
bird, and the characteristic feature in it is that
its two intermediate tail feathers are exactly twice
as long as the others. The female builds her nest
upon the ground generally near the root of some
large tree, she lays from twelve to eighteen eggs,
which are brown, tinged with chocolate colour
at the broad end. Their flesh is excellent.





THE Bustard is larger than the turkey, in fact it
is the largest native bird of Britain. It was at
one time exceedingly numerous in England, but
the increased cultivation and population has great-
ly diminished the species, indeed it is more than
probable that by this time it would have become
entirely extinct, had not the habits of the bird,
together with its extreme caution, rendered it a
matter of great difficulty to approach it. Had it
lived in woods where the sportsman could have
crept near them unseen, its great size would have
afforded amark too easy to be missed; but this is
the case; it inhabits only open and extensive
countries, such as Salisbury Plain, the heaths of
Sussex and Cambridgeshire, and the uplands of
Dorsetshire;in these places they may yet be seen
in flocks of fifty to eighty, feeding on their favorite
food, the heath berries, and the large earth
worm. It is no use attempting to approach
them, they have sentinels on the watch on every
side, who give warning to the rest on the slightest
appearance of danger, under whatever form, and
the whole flock find safety in flight. But though
shooting them is quite an impossibility they are
oftenrun down with greyhounds, for they are birds
that fly with difficulty, and being very greedy,
they often over eat themselves to such an extent
that they are unable to fly without great prepara-
tion. When the greyhound finds one in such a
condition, he runs it down without difficulty.
Nature has provided these birds with a pouch
under the tongue, which, when full, holds six quarts
of water, and with which they supply their young.





Lfr ,


IT was a long time a matter of dispute and doubt
amongst naturalists, to what country this bird
owed its origin, some argued that it came from
Africa, some from the East Indies, and others
from Turkey, hence its name. It is now how-
ever proved beyond a doubt that it is of American
origin, and hundreds of thousands are still running
wild in the woods of that country; the size and
beauty of which far surpasses those in a domestic
state. Hunting the turkey is a favourite sport of the
American Indians, as well as a profitable one, as
the feathers supply him with ornaments, and the
flesh a luxury for his table. His method of hunt-
ing them is worthy of notice, when he has disco-
vered a flock, he sends his well trained dog into
the midst of them to give pursuit, the turkey runs
with great swiftness and would soon outstrip the
dog; but it soon tires, knowing this, the dog still
follows until the now exhausted turkey takes re-
fuge in some tree, the dog remains barking at the
foot tillthe hunter comes up, who withoutmoreado
knocks them down with a long pole.
THa Quail is about half the size of the partridge,
and exactly the same shape, and although of the
poultry kind, is a bird of passage. It is a bird of
great courage, and wages war upon each other,
even to the death. The Athenians taking advan-
tage oftheircombativenessusedto rearthemtofight,
and quail fighting was a common amusement in
Athens, and great sums often depended on the
issue of a battle; they did not however eat itL, flesh,
being under the impression that it fed upon poison-
ous herbs. With us the quail is considered a delicacy.






THE Heron lives principally amongst the pools
and marshes, and on the banks of fresh water ri-
vers, and is a most destructive enemy to the finny
tribe; he wades into the water as far as his long
legs will carry him, and then watches patiently the
approach of the roach, dace, or carp, which he
pounces upon with never failing aim; but though
the smaller kind of fish form his principal prey, he
does not fail to attack the larger, should they come
within his reach, and will strike and wound them,
even if unable to carry them away. Such is their
extreme voracity, that one carp taken out of a
heron's stomach was elei en inches long, and this
was one out of twenty three fishes he had that
day swallowed. I was well acquainted with a gen-
tleman, near Ipswich, in Suffolk who kept a tame he-
ron, and was determined to try what quantity it
would eat, and therefore caused the river to be net-
ted, and great number of dace and roach to be put
into large tub, upon counting the fish, it was found
that the heron had eaten fifty seven a day, big and
little, so according to the average, a single heron
will consume upwards of fifteen thousand fishes in
six months, independent of the larger ones that die
from the wounds received from his beak. One
strange feature in this bird is, that abundantly
supplied with food, he always remains lean, nor
can any quantity of food fatten him. Formerly
heron hawking was afavourite amusement with the
nobility, and there was a law to preserve them,
and any person robbing a nest was liable to a fine
of twenty shillings.
160 B





THE Crane is a very social bird, keeping in flocks
of sixty or eighty, part of which keep sentry
whilst the remainder feed. Corn is their favourite
food, and in Tuscany and Germany they often
commit great devastation, descending upon a corn
field at night and trampling it down as much as
if an army had passed over it; happily England
is free from the visits of these destroyers. But
although corn is their favourite food, yet they
eat clover and grass, snails, worms, insects, and
lizards; so that scarcely any place is so barren as
not to provide them with food. They are birds of
passage, and leave Europe at the end of autumn,
returning in the beginning of summer. Theirflesh
is hard, dry, and very unpalatable, and although
tried in various ways of cooking, always disagree-
able. Though the Romans, with their accustomed
bad taste, used to fatten them for food. It has
been proved that young Cranes are easily tamed
and domesticated.
THIs curious bird takes its name from the shape
of its bill, which as my young readers will perceive,
is somewhatlike a spoon. It approaches the crane
in size, figure, and habit, more than any other bird.
It is said by those best acquainted with them, that
they are a very sociable bird, and much attached
to their mates and offspring, and that they boldly
resist the aggression of monkeys, who come to rob
their nests, driving the intruders away with great
fury. The colour of European Spoonbills, is dirty a
white, but the colour of the Spoonbill of America,
is a beautiful rose colour. Its flesh is not fitfor food.





TaH Stork is a bird that has often been mistaken
for the crane, there is such a great similarity in
their outward appearance, but on a closer inspec-
tion we find it differs from that bird very much in
its habits and general manners, so that it is im-
possible to confound the two. For instance, we
know that the crane feeds mostly on vegetables
and corn, whereas the Stork subsists entirely on
frogs and serpents, fishes and birds ; thus there is
a difference m their nature. Again the Stork al-
ways lives near a large town or other populous
places, and such places the crane studiously avoids.
Here then is a difference in their habits; the crane
lays but two eggs, the Stork four; these are suf-
ficient distinctions to mark the different birds;
however like each other they may be in figure.
Storks are birds of passage, but it has never been
ascertained to what part of the world they adjourn
when they leave Europe; the principal reason of
this is that they always take their departure by
night, so that it is impossible to observe in what
direction they proceed. They are birds of very
peaceable and mild dispositions, and are very
easily domesticated. It is related by the celebra-
ted Dr. Herrmann that "he saw a tame one in a
garden that was playing with some children, and
that in their various games it took an active part,
seemed to understand quite perfectly what it had
to do, joining in the pursuit, or avoiding it with
considerable activity.' Storks are so common in
Holland, that they frequently build their nests
upon the tops of the houses, and so fond of them
are the inhabitants that they place wooden boxes
on their roofs for them to build their nests in.





THnRE is scarcely any sound in nature so dismally
hollow as the booming cry of the Bittern, nor is
it possible for me to give my young readers any
idea of it by my pen ; it is not unlike the bellow-
ing of a bull, but louder and hollower, and a deal
more solemn. From the extreme loudness of this
strange cry, it was a long time supposed that the
bird made use of some artificial means to produce
it, such however is not the case, nature having
provided this bird with means to produce this
noise without anyassistance from other sources.
The Bittern is a retired and harmless bird,
living in fens and marshes, and subsisting on frogs,
insects, and vegetables; if taken and confined, it
loses at once all its life and energy, and remains
a dull, forlorn, and stupid bird, rejecting all offers
to conciliate it, and disregarding all attempts to
instruct it. Yet the Bittern is by no means cow-
ardly in its disposition, on the contrary it never
flies from birds of prey, and often inflicts a dead-
ly wound in the breast of its assailant with its
sharp beak. Its flesh is considered good eating,
and therefore it is eagerly sought after by the
sportsman, and as it is a large bird, and flies
heavily, it is easily shot; when, however, it is
only wounded, it makes a vigorous resistance,
not unfrequently driving its bill through the boot
of the sportsman and inflicting a very painful
wound. There are many kinds of bitterns; the
smallest and most beautiful of which is found in
America, and is named the Tiger Bittern, from
the similarity of its plumage to the skin of that





THn Flamingo in its plumage is certainly the most
beautiful of all birds of the crane kind, being of
a most dazzling scarlet, and although no bigger
in the body than a swan, its legs and neck are so
long, that when it stands erect, it reaches nearly
seven feet. It is a native of America, and is an
exceeding scarce and shy bird, residing in the
most desolate places, on the banks of salt-water
marshes and lakes; here they feed during the
day, and on the approach of night, retire to the
mountains. When seen by day, they are always
drawn up in one long and close line of several
hundreds, and in the distance look like a long
brick wall, or a regiment of soldiers ; they always
appoint a sentinel to look out, while the rest are
feeding, and as soon as he perceives any danger,
he gives a shrill loud cry and the whole flock,
which have been feeding in silence, take wing and
fill the air with loud screams, which can be heard
at the distance of half a mile.
THE Snipe is the smallest bird of the crane kind,
and is very common in this country. It is gener-
ally found at the bottom of ditches, and by the
side of weedy pools, where they live upon the
worms and insects that are found in such places.
As the food of this bird is not found on trees, but
on the ground, nature has furnished it with long
legs, with which it runs very swiftly, but as they
often change their situation, so is it equally strong
of wing, and travels over great distances, from one
part of the country to another, without any
fatigue. Snipes are delicious eating, and Snipe
shooting is a favourite sport.






THz Woodcock is not a native of England, but
only a visitor; it comes to us in the beginning of
winter, and leaves us again in spring. It has
been ascertained that they retire to breed in the
mountains of Sweden, Poland, Prussia, and Lap.
land; and although the nest of the Woodcock is
occasionally found here, it is no doubt that of
some straggling bird, who not having strength or
courage to make the usual journey, is compelled,
by necessity, to take up its abode among us, but
even these, when summer sets in, retire to the tops
of our coldest and bleakest mountains. As the
woodcock lives entirely amongst watery places,
nature has given it a warmth of constitution suit-
able for so cold an element, and it never forsakes
a cold climate until the frost has stiffened the earth,
and it is unable to find necessary food for its sub-
THE Lapwing, or as it is often called the "Peewit,"
is not larger than a pigeon, but its plumage is so
thick, and its legs are so long, that it looks much
larger. It lives entirely upon worms which it
draws out of the earth with surprising dexterity.
The arts and tricks they make use of to draw away
any person who approaches their nest is very
amusing, they will rise just in front of the intru-
der, and scream and flutter their wings as if wound.
ed, lettingthem come within a yard, and thenflying
a short distance, and again falling down apparently
exhausted ; this it continues until it thinks its nest
out of danger, when it takes wing, and flies ra-
pidly away.





THz Raven is a bird not only well known in Eng.
land, but also in every other part of the world;
his hardy constitution enabling him to stand every
degree of heat and cold. In a wild state, the
Raven is greedy and ravenous ; if they find a sick
or helpless sheep, they are sure to pick out its
eyes ; in fact, whether their prey be living or dead,
it makes no matter, they fall to with a most vo-
racious appetite. Notwithstanding this, if taken
young, no bird is more docile and capable of in-
struction than the Raven, he can be taught to fetch
and carry, to talk and sing a song; in short, he
can be trained to any purpose to which any animal
can be converted. "Pliny" gives us an account
of one that wad kept in the temple of Castor for
many years, one day it flew down into the shop
of a poor tailor who lived in the neighbourhood:
who, pleased with the visit, treated him kindly;
in the course of time he taught the Raven many
amusing tricks, amongst the rest to pronounce
the name of the Roman Emperor and all the royal
family. The bird's fame was soon known, and
the tailor began to grow rich by the donations of
those parties who came to see and hear this won-
derful Raven. An envious neighbour of the tailor,
vexed at his good fortune, determined to slay the
Raven and put an end to the tailor's source of
Wealth; he effected his purpose, but the Romans
took the tailor's part, punished the slayer of the bird,
and buried it with great funeral honours. But al-
though the Raven has many amusing qualities, he
also has his vices, for he is both a glutton and a thief;
he does not gratify his propensities to satisfy his
hunger, for he takes those things he can neither
enjoy nor appreciate.







THu Rook is a well known and sociable bird, fre-
quently taking up its abode in the very centre of
cities and very populous places. As the principal
food of this bird is corn and insects, it is in some
countries considered as a nuisance, and in others
as a benefit, more than compensating for the corn
it eats by destroying that noxious insect, the dor-
beetle. In the commencement of spring, our
rookeries, which have been deserted during the
winter, except by four or five, who remain like
old soldiers to guard the garrison, begin again to
be the scene of bustle and confusion, and business
of pairing and building their nests has commenced,
at least this is, so far as the young couples are con-
cerned, for the old inhabitants of the place are al-
ready provided, the nests that have served them
for years answering again, with a little repairing.
It often happens that the young birds take up a
position too near the old ones, at which a quarrel
always ensues, and the young ones are driven away.
A pie made of young rooks is considered a dainty
THE Jack Daw is also a bird that must be quite
familiar to my readers, he is always seen on church
steeples, old towers, and other ruins, in which
places he builds his nest. He is a very docile bird,
easily domesticated, and very loquacious, and is
very amusing, though a somewhat mischievous com-
panion. His head is large for the size of his body,
and naturalists remark that this feature argues
craftiness and ingenuity.


0 3



THl Magpie is a very handsome bird, and this is
its only recommendation ; it is a noisy, greedy,
and insolent character, and takes a pleasure in ad-
ding insults to injury. They are often seen on the
back of an ox or a sheep, picking away at the in-
sects to be found there, and tormenting the poor
animal at the same time; and if the beast turns
round its head to look at them, they stretch out
their necks as if challenging to combat. As I
said before, it is a greedy bird, for no kind of
food comes wrong to it; it will feed upon small
birds, and carrion; it eats corn voraciously; it
seeks out the nests of small birds, and if the birds
are fortunate enough to escape, it sucks the eggs,
and when it has more than it can consume at one
time, it takes them away and hides them in some
hole till its hunger returns. The nest of the Mag-
pie is built with much ingenuity and with a great
regard to safety; it is built of hawthorn branches,
the sharp thorns sticking outwards, but well twis-
ted and fastened together; in the inside it is
warmly lined with long dry grass and wool, and
then nicely plastered round with mud and clay;
the body of the nest being formed, they cover it
over with a sort of roof, to guard it against birds
of prey, this roof is composed of the sharpest
thorns, so fastened together as totally to prevent
any entrance except by the door, which is just big
enough to admit the Magpie: in this secure fortress
they hatch their young with safety. They are a
bird easily tamed, but are always mischievous.
150 F






MosT certainly the Jay is one of the most beauti-
ful birds belonging to the British Islands, and
is of the same tribe as the magpie; the forehead
is a clear white with jet black streaks ; the head
is covered with very long feathers, which it can
erect into a crest at its own pleasure; the neck,
breast, and back are of a faint purple, tinged with
grey; the wings are barred in a most beautiful
manner with a bright blue, black, and white; the
tail is black, and the feet brown ; it lives like the
magpie, on grain, fruits, and small birds, and is
equally docile and easily tamed. It has a very
remarkable, harsh, grating voice, and flies away
with loud screams, on the approach of danger.
As I have observed with regard to the magpie,
these birds have nothing to recommend them but
the beauty of their plumage, in fact there are none
of this class of birds any way useful to man ex-
cepting the pigeon; on the contrary, they tease
and annoy him rather than assist him, and only
keep near him because they live by his labour;
their principal study is to rob him in his absence,
and yet it is a singular fact, that although so an-
noying and mischievous to man, and at all times
noisy and troublesome neighbours, yet with respect
to themselves, no kind of birds are so social, active,
ingenious, and well suited to society, they live in
perfect harmony with each other, cherish their
young with extreme care and fondness, and each
watches over the general safety, giving warning to
each other on the smallest approach of danger.
The Crested Jay of which we give an engraving,
is a native of America.



^^ rt




THE Roller is found in some parts of Germany,
but is not by any means a common bird; it is a
bird of most exquisite beauty, and rivals the par-
rot in the variety and beauty of its plumage: the
breast and belly are a bright blue, the head an
exquisite green, and the wings variegated with
blue, black, and white ; but if it is remarkable for
its beauty, it is equally so for its harsh and un-
pleasant voice, which is nothing but a loud and
grating scream. It is a singular fact, that in
whatever part of the world we find birds of the
pie kind, they are all noted for their beautiful
plumage and discordant voices.
THIS is one of the most singular of all the feather-
ed creation, its bill being as large as its whole
body. It is stated on good authority that this
bird, although possessed of so formidable a beak,
is harmless, inoffensive, and gentle, and so easily
domesticated that it will often be induced to hatch
its young in houses. The Toucan builds its nest
in holes of trees, when no better provides for the
safety of its progeny, for it not only has to guard
against man, birds, and serpents, but a numerous
tribe of lean and hungry monkies, more cunning
than all. It sometimes gives the monkey a recep-
tion with its hard beak he is little prepared for,
and makes him pack off considerably quicker than
he came. The Toucan is anativeof southAmerica,
where it is eagerly sought for the delicacy of its
flesh, which is exceedingly nourishing.






THERE are so many kinds of Woodpeckers in va-
rious parts, that to give a description of one quar-
ter of them would be a task of no small difficulty;
without attempting to do so, we shall keep to the
English Woodpecker, with whose habits we are
best acquainted, and as the habits of the whole
species bear the strongest affinity, the same his-
tory will do for all. When the Woodpecker, by
natural instinct, has discovered an old decayed
tree, where there are any worms, insects, or ant's
eggs, it prepares to dislodge them ; it supports it-
self by its strong claws, and resting on the thick
feathers of its tail, it commences boring the old
tree with its powerful bill, until it dislodges the
whole insect population. No sooner is this effec-
ted than it gives a loud cry of pleasure, which so
alarms the busy insect colony, that they scamper
about in every direction in the utmost confusion;
it is now the Woodpecker begins his feast, and
he darts out his tongue with certain aim, dealing
destruction at every blow, and soon devours the
whole tribe. As the insects found in trees, how-
ever, are not sufficient to satisfy the demands of
nature, it is compelled to try its fortune amongst
the ants, and for that purpose descends upon the
ground in search of their habitation, but as the ants
are too deep in the earth to get at, it is compel-
led to resort to stratagem to obtain what it cannot
procure by force ; when therefore it has discover.
ed an ant hill, it pecks itin order to call them forth,
it then thrusts out its long red tongue, which so
closely resembles a worm, that they gather on it
in great numbers, and when well covered, it sud.
denly draws its tongue in and devours the whole







this it continues till it is satisfied, or the ants are
nearly exterminated. When prepared for laying
her eggs, the female Woodpecker commences bor-
ing a hole in some tree, of course choosing some
soft wood; such as the elm or poplar, in this it
bores a hole as round as if done by machinery, and
in this, without building any nest or making any
more preparation, she deposits her eggs, to the
number of half a dozen. They seldom use the same
hole twice, but make a fresh one every summer,
leaving the old one to find a tenant in the jay,
the starling, or the bat. When the young ones
are in the nest, they are ornamented with a scarlet
plumage under the throat, which greatly increases
the beauty of their appearance.
In the warmer climates, such as Brazil, the
Woodpecker builds its nest in quite a different
manner, for it is not man they have there to fear,
but more subtle enemies, the monkey and serpent;
to avoid these it builds its nest on the utmost ex-
tremity of the very smallest branch of some lofty
tree, and there it hangs before the eyes of its ene-
mies, a tempting, yet tantalizing object, whilst
the bird flies in and out in perfect security, and
conscious of the safety of its progeny.
There is a small Woodpecker in the Brazil called
by the natives of that country the Quiratemga,"
which glues, by some substance gathered from a
fiberous mass, to the extreme point of a branch,
and still adding fresh materials and building down-
wards, a nest is formed that hangs down like a
pouch with a small hole to enter by in the side.
Our first engraving represents the green Wood-
pecker, a bird best known in this country; the
red-headed, and Pileated woodpeckers are natives
of North America.






, I I


THERE is no bird about which more fabulous ac-
counts have been given, or wrong impressions
formed, than the Bird of Paradise; it was a
long time imagined that it had no legs, never
alighted on the earth, and fed on the dews of hea-
ven; how this opinion originated, is explained in
the following manner; the inhabitants of those
islands where the birds abound, perceiving how
the Europeans admired these birds for their ex-
treme beauty, and how desirous they were of
purchasing its plumage for ornament, cut off its
legs before they offered it for sale, for as the legs
of this bird are large and ungainly, they thought
to realise a higher price by concealing its defects.
As it always happens one lie gives rise to many
more, so it was in this case, the purchaser finding
the bird without legs, of course inquired how that
was, and not wishing to be found out, the seller
answered that the bird had none, and the European
not being able to contradict this statement, natur-
ally concluded that the bird being formed without
legs, was destined by nature to live only in the
air, and thus being imposed upon himself, he im-
posed upon others. The natives who trade in
these birds, conceal themselves near the trees
where they resort, covering themselves with bran-
ches; from this covert they shoot the birds with
reed arrows, when they have taken a number of
them, they gut them, cut off their legs and run a
hot iron into the body to dry up the moisture, they
then fill it up with scented spices and sell them to
European purchasers for a very small sum.







TaHI bird makes its appearance amongst us early
in spring, and gives his welcome note, which is at
first very weak and feeble, but as the season ad-
vances, becomes louder and is repeated more fre-
quently. The female Cuckoo never builds a nest of
her own, but discovers thenest of somelittle bird, in
which, after devouring the eggs, she lays her own;
the nest chosen for this purpose is generally that
of the hedge sparrow, who hatches the egg and
attends to the young cuckoo with assiduous care,
being little aware that she is nourishing an enemy
to her race, and perhaps the destroyer of her own
progeny. The young cuckoo is at first brown mix-
ed with black, and when fledged, follows its foster
parent for some time, until its appetite for different
food causes itto part from its conductor, who is con-
tent with more humble fare than that required by
its supposed offspring. The Cuckoo is considered
by all birds of the smaller kind as a common enemy,
and as such they follow it from place to place, and
revenge the injuries by insulting it, so that it is
often glad to take shelter in the thick foliage of
some friendly tree. Amongst the most inveterate
of its enemies is the little wryneck, who so con-
stantly follows the Cuckoo, that it has been called
the Cuckoo's attendant ; it does not follow it, how-
ever, with any friendly intention, but to insult it by
every means in its power, and to warn its little
companions of its approach. There are many
kinds of Cuckoos in various parts of the world,
all varying in size and plumage.





THE different varieties of the tame pigeon, ex-
tremely numerous as they are, all derive their
origin from the Stock-dove, which, as its name
implies, is the stock, a stem from which the nu-
merous tribe of carriers, croppers, pouters, fantails,
runts, jacobins, &c., have been propagated.
The Stock Dove is merely the pigeon in a state
of nature; but there are many other wild pigeons
besides the Stock Dove of various names and
habits, one of which is the ring-dove, a bird that
has never been reclaimed by man, and unlike the
rest of its kind, builds in holes of rocks, or in the
hollow of trees, whereas all other wild pigeons
build their nests in the branches of trees, and select
for their abode places as remote as possible from
the haunts of man. The carrier pigeon is perhaps
the most useful of the species, and is employed to
carry intelligence from one part of the kingdom to
another. The manner of doing this is as follows;
they are first taken from theirhome to theplacefrom
whence the news has to be sent, a letter containing
the desired intelligence is tied under its wing, and
the bird let loose; it mounts up into the air and
performs several circles, and then darts away in a
direct line for its home, and so great is the speed
it travels at, that a strong carrier pigeon has
been known to have travelled upwards of one
hundred miles in the space of three hours. These
birds are sometimes very valuable, according to
their experience as carriers and quickness of per-
forming the distance. We have seen a pair valu-
ed at forty guineas.





THE Turtle Dove is the smallest, as well as themost
shy and timid of its kind, and is very easily known
by its plumage, and by the iris of the eye, which
is a bright yellow, while a crimson circle encom-
passes the eye lids; they are a migratory bird and
never remain in cold climates in the winter; when
they come to breed here in the summer season, they
fly in immense flocks, and although they build their
nests in the midst of woods, they seem to delight
in open countries. The attachment that they bear
to one another, has become proverbial, and it is a
well known fact that if a pair are kept together in
a cage, if one dies the other pines away and does not
long survive it. Wild pigeons are very destructive
on account of their immense numbers; look for in-
stance at the passenger pigeon of America; these
birds fly in flocks of millions at a time, in fact their
number cannot even be guessed at, they sometimes
are several hours in passing over a town, and in
such a dense body, that the sun is quite obscured
for the time, and the day turned fairly into night.
That celebrated American naturalist, M. Audobon,
speaks of them as follows; Take a column of one
mile in breadth, which is far below the average, pass-
ing over us without interruption for three hours in
succession, at the rate of one mile per minute; this
will give a body of pigeons one hundred and eighty
miles long and one broad, thus covering a surface
of 180 square miles, now to make calculation easy,
let us allow only two pigeons to the square yard,
even this moderate calculation would give us a
grand total of 1,115,136,000 pigeons in one flock,
and immense as that number is, five times the
amount would be nearer the mark.
160 o





University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs