Citation
Our feathered companions, or, Conversations of a father with his children about sea-birds, song-birds, and other feathered tribes that live in or visit the British Isles, their habits, &c.

Material Information

Title:
Our feathered companions, or, Conversations of a father with his children about sea-birds, song-birds, and other feathered tribes that live in or visit the British Isles, their habits, &c.
Portion of title:
Conversations of a father with his children about sea-birds, song-birds, and other feathered tribes that live in or visit the British Isles, their habits, &c
Creator:
Jackson, Thomas, 1812-1886
Barnes, Robert, 1840-1895 ( Illustrator )
Kretschmer, Robert, 1818-1872 ( Illustrator )
Weir, Harrison, 1824-1906 ( Illustrator )
S. W. Partridge & Co. (London, England) ( Publisher )
G. Routledge & Co ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Place of Publication:
London
New York
Publisher:
S.W. Partridge & Co.
Routledge & Co.
Manufacturer:
Watson and Hazell
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vii, 148, [2] p., [16] leaves of plates : ill. ; 22 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Fathers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Birds -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1870 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1870
Genre:
Publishers' advertisements ( rbgenr )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
England -- Aylesbury
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Publisher's advertisements follow text and on endpapers.
General Note:
Date from preface.
General Note:
Frontispiece and t.p. printed in black and red; Illustrations engraved by Dalziel, R. Barnes, and R. Kretschmer after Harrison Weir.
General Note:
"Our dumb companions" series.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Thomas Jackson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026712326 ( ALEPH )
ALG7451 ( NOTIS )
29617939 ( OCLC )

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PUBLICATIONS ON KINDNESS TO
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OUR DUMB COMPANIONS. By Rev. THomas
--JAckKson, M.A. Price in cloth, 5s.; gilt edges, 7s. 6d.

OUR DUMB NEIGHBOURS. By Rev. THomas
Jackson, M.A. Price 5s. and 7s. 6d.

| CLEVER DOGS, HORSES, &c.

HIBBERD. Price 5s. and 7s. 6d.

|| ANIMAL SAGACITY. Edited by Mrs. S. C. Hatt.
Price 5s. and 7s. 6d.

#@| OUR FOUR-FOOTED FRIENDS. By Mary

Howitt. Price 5s. and 7s. 6d.
1 OUR CHILDREN’S PETS. By JosEPHINE. 70
: Engravings. Price 5s. and 7s. 6d.

CaS The above Volumes form ‘‘OuR DumMB COMPANIONS”
Series. Lach Volume contains many Illustrations, and
has a Coloured Medallion on side.

By SHIRLEY









A MOTHER'S LESSONS ON KINDNESS TO
ANIMALS. First, Second, and Third Series. 1s. each.

DICK AND HIS DONKEY. Price 6d.

A FEW WORDS ON A NEGLECTED SUB-

JECT. Specially addressed to those who have care of the
Young. By MAry Howirt. Price 3d.

: LITTLE TRACTS FOR LITTLE FOLKS. 6d.
BROAD-SHEET.— Lad with a Good Character.”





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“Lonpon: S. W. PARTRIDGE & Co., 9, PATERNOSTER Row.

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Tue Morner’s Picture ALPHABET.
Dedicated by permission to the Princess Beatrice.



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In illustrated bds., 5s.; cloth plain, 7s. 6d.; cloth extra, os. 6d.

“This Picture ALPHABET is the Landsomest book of its kind offered .
to the general public.” —A cheneum.

“My Moruer.” Nursery RHYME.
By Ann Taytor. A Series of Twelve Coloured
Pictures illustrating this well-known Ballad.
Cloth, gilt edges, Medallion on sides, 55.

“Mr. Partridge is continually producing books that are excellent as F
art-works, but which have even a higher recommendatiou—they teach
the purest principles of virtue and religion, and are most acceptable as

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gift-books to the young.”—Art Fournadl.



Compiled by UNCLE JOHN. -
160 Engravings, cloth, 5s: With Coloured Plates, gilt
, edges, 75. 6d.

“Uncle John will doubtless be popular with the little people for com-
‘piling so acceptable a volume + # * * The illustrations are above the
average, and the poetry truthful, earnest, and simple.” — then@um.

Texts AND FLowers. ILLUMINATED.

A Series of Pen and Pencil Illustrations.
Cloth, gilt edges, 5s. In assorted Packets, 23. 6.
“This is.a book of pretty and pleasant illuminated pages: flowers
‘ grouped, and encircling a selected Scripture, text; containing also
graceful poems, that accompany each print. The prints are exceed-
ingly well drawn, and are good speciment of chromo-lithography.”—
Art Fournad. :

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~ Compiled by the Editors of the “Children’s Friend.”



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d With 7oo Engravings, cloth, gilt edges, 58.
‘Will be a welcome present to all intelligent children, and will form
a very interesting companion for Sunday evenings,” —Nonconformist,

S.W. Partripce & Co,
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OUR FEATHERED COMPANIONS.



















OUR

on thered C. ompanions, |

OR,

CONVERSATIONS OF A FATHER WITH HIS CHILDREN ABOUT SEA-BIRDS,
SONG-BIRDS, AND OTHER FEATHERED TRIBES THAT LIVE
IN OR VISIT THE BRITISH ISLES, THEIR HABITS, &c.



By tHe Rev. THOMAS JACKSON, M.A,

PREBENDARY OF ST. PAUL’S, AND RECTOR OF STOKE NEWINGTON.

Author of “ Our Dumb Companions,” “ Our Dunb Neighbours” &¢., &¢.

Lonpon: S. W. PARTRIDGE & CO.; 9, PATERNOSTER Row.
New York: Messrs. ROUTLEDGE & CO.

[AW Rights reserved.)





Zo the Right Reverend

LORD BISHOP OF GLOUCESTER

AND BRISTOL,

Vice-President of the Royal Soctety for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animats,

WHOSE LABOURS IN PROMOTING A HUMANE
EDUCATION HAVE SECURED FOR HIM
THE BEART-FELT THANKS
OF THOUSANDS, -

THIS VOLUME IS CORDIALLY

DEDICATED.









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SED KK

WATSON AND HAZELL,




PRINTERS, '
LONDON AND AYLESBURY,

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HIS volume forms the third of a series of popular works, of which
that entitled “Our DumB COMPANIONS” was the first. It is
designed, not to convey scientific information upon natural history,
but to interest children and young persons in the habits of the various























feathered tribes which reside in, or visit, this country; and thus, by

teaching lessons of kindness, to promote the better treatment of every

variety cf the animal creation. The wanton and cruel destruction of
sea-birds on the coasts of England and Scotland, especially those
which are frequented by thoughtless and vulgar tourists from our

great towns, has lately excited universaiindignation. But the claim

of unoffending creatures of all kinds to gentle usage will never

be recognised, until it is everywhere promoted by enlightened public

opinion. The prevalence of such opinion cannot be obtained by Acts

of the legislature, or by the spasmodic efforts of enthusiastic humani-

tarians. It must be ingrained into the popular mind by carly

tranig. For this purpose, books must be provided which may

become suggestive helps in school and horre lessons on the subject,

and which may be given as prizes in institutions of primary or

secondary instruction. It is with this object that the present volume

has been compiled, and the writer humbly commends it to the blessing

of the living and rewarding God, and to the generous patronage of
that large and increasing body in every part of the civilized world

—THE FRIENDS OF THE BRUTE CREATION,

The Rectory,
Stoke Newington,

August, 1870.













































































CONTENTS,

CONVERSATION I.—AT THE SEA-SIDE AGAIN—SEA-BIRDS ONE OF THE CHARMS

OF THE SEA—USE OF SEA-GULLS--SOUTHEY’S ‘INCHCAPE ROCK”—-SEA-BIRDS
DESERVE PROTECTION—WILLOUGHBY’S REMARKS ON GULLS—PETRELS—SEA-
SWALLOWS—THE ALBATROSS—WHAT COLERIDGE SAYS ABOUT IT IN ‘‘THE
ANCIENT MARINER”—SEA-BIRDS . EXCELLENT SCAVENGERS—REMARKABLE
COLONIES OF GULLS—THE GULLERY AT NORBURY—SOME STRANGE FACTS
ABOUT SEA-BIRDS—THE FLAMBOROUGH-PILOTS—SCHOOLMASTERS SHOULD BE
WON OVER TO TEACH KINDNESS TO BIRDS—VALUE OF SINGING TO THIS END
—‘A LITTLE GIRL TO THE SEA-BIRDS”” (MUSIC)—‘' THE SEA-BIRDS’ REPLY,”

BY THE -REV. R. WILTON . . .

PAGE,









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Vi CONTENTS.





CONVERSATION IJ.—THE COMMON GUILLEMOT—PENGUINS—LONDON BIRDS—
THE PLOVER—VARIETIES OF—THE SANDERLING—THE OYSTER-CATCHER—THE
CREAM-COLOURED COURSER—LAPWINGS—CRANES—TURNSTONES—THE HOOPING~
CRANE—THE EGRET HERON—HABITS OF THE HERON—-THE COW HERON—
BITTERNS—STORKS—THE SPOONBILL—MR. LOWE’S TAX ON FIRE-ARMS—
DEMOISELLE AND CROWNED CRANES-—-THE WOODCOCK—SNIPE—JUDCOCK—

THE RUFF—VARIETIES OF SAND-PIPERS—THE BITTERN—VALUE OF SEA-BIRDS

CONVERSATION JII.—MECHANICAL SKILL OF BIRDS—THE STORMY PETREL—
PUFFINS -THE KAKOPO—JACKDAWS—-MOTHERLY AFFECTION OF THE EIDER
DUCK—THE NUT-HATCH—THE SWIFT—THE SWALLOW A CLEVER BUILDER—
CONSTRUCTION OF THRUSH’S NEST—THE NUT-HATCH A CARPENTER—THE
WOODPECKER—BUFFON AND WILSON ON WOODPECKERS—IS THE WOODPECKER
HAPPY?—THE DOWNY WOODPECKER—DECAY OF SOME SPECIES OF BIRDS—
ANTEDILUVIAN MONSTERS—BIRDS PROTECTED IN EGYPT—THE EAGLE—
BASKET-MAKING BIRDS—GOLDSMITH ON ROOKS—THE GOLDFINCH A NEAT
FELTER—HUMMING-BIRDS—THE KITE—VARIETIES OF OWLS— BIRDS, POETS,
AND PAINTERS—SWALLOWS AND SPARROWS—SPARROWS USEFUL TO THE
FARMER— “‘ SPARROW CLUBS” DENOUNCED—MR. WOOD’S TESTIMONY TO THE

VALUE OF SPARROWS—THE TREE SPARROW .

CONVERSATION IV.—our SONG-BIRDS—VARIETIES OF THRUSHES—THE GOLDEN
ORIOLE—THE WHIN-CHAT—THE STONE-CHAT—THE ROBIN—THE ceperie =
‘THE NIGHTINGALE AND LARK—THOMSON’S LINES ON THE NIGHTINGALE
THE DOVE—EXTRACTS FROM THE POET BROWNING—THE WINGS OF BIRDS—
POWER OF BIRD-SONG—WHY DO BIRDS SING?—TENNYSON AND THE BLACK-~

BIRD—MACGILLIVRAY ON THE BLACKBIRD “.

PAGE.

33

63

107















CONTENTS. Vii





PAGE.
CONVERSATION V.—TALKING BIRDS—THE WHEAT-EAR—THE CUCKOO—PARROTS

——PARAKEETS—MR. BRODERIP ON PARROTS—-LOVE-BIRDS—TURKEYS—APOLOGY
FOR THE ‘* POULTRY MANIA”—COCKS AND HENS—ENERGETIC CONDUCT OF
-MR. COLAM—CRUELTY TO ANIMALS sO NOT PAY—PHEASANTS AND
PARTRIDGES—THE SWAN—-ADVENTURE OF ONE WITH A FOX—-FOWLS SHOULD
BE TREATED WITH KINDNESS—THE ‘‘ BARN-DOOR” FOWL—CARRIER PIGEONS

- —CLOSE_OF THE CONVERSATIONS—LESSONS TO BE DEDUCED . . 7 127















































ARTIST. PAGE,





SUBJECT.

GROUP OF SEA-BIRDS : - - - _ Harrison Weir - . 8

THE CRAB ROCK, NEAR FLAMBOROUGH HEAD - R. Barnes - 32
PENGUINS - - - - - - R. Kretschmer | - “36
SAND-MARTINS - - - Bs - flarvison Weir - 64
WOODPECKERS - oa te - - R. Kretschmer : 78

2 ROOKS — : - - - - - Llarrison Weir - 92
i SPARROW - - - - - - flarvison Weir - 104
THRUSH - - - - - - flarrison Weir - 108
ROBIN - - - - - - Harrison Weir - 1i2
NIGHTINGALE - - - - - - Harrison Weir - 116

LARK - - 2. - - - - Harrison Weir - 122
BLACKBIRDS ~- - - - - - Harrison Weir - 126

|| LovE-BIRD AND MIRROR - - - - Harrison Weir 5 132
POULTRY - - - - - - Harrison Weir - 136
SWANS - : = 7 7 - Harrison Weir - 142























OUR FEATHERED COMPANIONS.






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CONVERSATION L..

Papa. Here we are again at the sea-side!
What a delicious thing it is to exchange the
J . ‘
NSE Scenery of a long and dirt-coloured brick

ee street, looking like an immense wall with
square holes in it, for the shore of the ever-sounding sea!























2 One of the Charms of the Sea.





Tom. J think that phrase, ‘‘the shore of the ever-sounding

2?

sea,’’ pronounced slowly, echoes the sense of the words as





























































































































delicately as Homer’s celebrated line ending with
. TloAv@Aoisbo10 Sadacone.

Mary. To me one of the charms of the sea is derived from |
the many beautiful birds that one beholds flitting about in all
directions. I suppose that the wise and loving providence which

















Use of Sea Gulls. : 3





made and governs the world, has never created anything without
some use, but I confess I cannot clearly understand the special
claims of sea-birds to our protection.























































































































Lidith. 1 am surprised at that, Mary; they may not be so
attractive to a lover of melodious musical sounds as the canary”
or the nightingale, but I question if they are not more really

























4 Southey’s ‘* Inchcape Rock.’





valuable. In the islands off the coasts of Ireland and Scotland
the poor peasants and fishermen maintain themselves for a
considerable part of the year on the eggs of these birds, and
sometimes on the fowls themselves. At Saint Kilda _they have
been so used for upwards of two hundred years.

Charlotte. Besides they are of use to the sailor in mists and
fogs. This state of the weather is more dangerous even than
a wild gale of wind. The mariner cannot tell which way he is
going. He may hear the roar of breakers, and suspect that he
is hurrying headlong to destruction. At such times-the cry
of the sea-birds will often help him.

Freddie. 1n Southey’s poetical works, is’a wild jeg called
“The Inchcape Rock.’ It appears that there was a tradition
among old Scotch people concerning this great hidden tock,
situated twelve miles from all land, in the German ocean, and
deadly to sailors because overflowed every tide. Now, hundreds
of years ago, long before the grand lighthouse was built, a bell
was fixed upon a raft of timber, and moored upon the rock.
The bell kept ringing as the waves rose and fell, and thus the
mariner was warned, especially in misty weather. One day
there came a wicked pirate, Ralph the Rover, and to annoy
the Abbot of Aberbrothok, who maintained the bell, he sank
bell and raft in the sea. He afterwards lost his ship and life
on the rock for want of the bell. Surely the sea-birds are like
the good Abbot ; and the destroyers of these beautiful creatures
may be compared to the wicked pirate.

Papa. There is another point of view in which gulls and
mews are useful. They feed upon young and weak fishes such
as are not likely to come to full growth, so that the fisherman



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































ae
The Sea-birds Home. 5
— — Se ~ = my = :

THE SEA-BIRDS’ HOME.





















6 _ An Important Fact. ,































































































































































































































































































































































knows where to find a shoal of herrings or mackerel by the num-_
ber of gulls that hover over the spot. If there were no gulls,
many a vast shoal of these valuable fishes would escape notice.
This is an important fact in a time when all kinds of food are
getting dearer and dearer, and when so many of our poorer
neighbours can hardly obtain enough to eat.

















Sea-birds worthy of Protection. 7

























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Mary. In more ways than one, then, these sea-birds are the
friends of man, and have a claim on his protection.

Jom. The more we understand of the habits and uses of
these birds the more shall we be led to admire the wisdom and
mercy of their great Creator.



















8 Willoughby s Remarks on Gulls.



Charlotte. What a sieneetal variety there is in the world of
animal life! I find that there are many sorts of sea-birds which
have attracted the attention of naturalists. I scarcely like to

say how many kinds of gulls there are. Willoughby, in his _

‘Ornithology,’ that is, his kook about birds, says ‘“‘Gulls are a
whole-footed fowl with an indifferent long, narrow, sharp-pointed
Lill, a little crooked at the end, oblong nostrils, long and strong
wings, short legs, small feet—for they do not swim much —a light
body, but clothed with many and thick-set feathers, a carrion
carcase, the fat, that is, sticking to the skin, as in other birds,
much upon the wing; very noisy, hungry, and fond of fish.
These are divided into two kinds, first the greater, which have
- tails composed of feathers of equal length, and an angular pro-
minency or knob on the lower chap of the bill underneath to
strengthen it, that they may more strongly hold fishes. Second,
the lesser, which have a forked tail and no knob on oe bill,’”’ or,
as he adds in a marginal note, ‘‘but a very small one.’ ‘ Both
kinds may Le divided into pied or parti-coloured, and the grey
or brown.”’

Mary. UHere is one of Mr. Weir’s life-like pictures ‘of sea-
birds. Some scarce escaped from the egg, and some grand
old ladies and gentlemen, which look as if long voyages were
natural to them. Mark the adaptation of their shape to [the
habits of their lives, and the modes by which they get their
living. They have sometimes been tamed, but they are not
companionable. They are apt to bite children: One fought
with a cat for a mouse, and managed to swallow it whole.

Lapa. Ido not know how many varieties there are of sea-
birds that either fiy or walk the water. Take for instance those



















































































































































i





page 8,

SEA BIRDS.











The Stormy Petrel.







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comical birds called the petrels, which employ their feet in their
own element as if they were on land, walking on the surface of











Then

the waves as a man might upon a water velocipede.













10 . Sea-swallows.





.there are the sea-swallows, with their strong and expansive

wings, by the help of which they cross over immeasurable tracts



































































































































































SEA-SWALLOWS.

of the ocean in search of their food, reposing in the air as on a
pillow of down, and seldom having recourse to their powers of
swimming. Then there are the groups that swim and dive, and
appear never to take the wing if they can possibly help it.

Then again there are others that seldom swim except when
forced, and never dive. Watching their gambols from the
shore, who does not feel the truth of the sublime aspiration,
‘““O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou
made them all.’”’ Or, as Bishop Horsley translates the passage,

“© Jehovah ! how great and various. are Thy works, in wisdom.
Thou hast made them all: the whole contents of the earth is
Thy property. This sea, so vast and wide on every side!

There are moving things without number; animals, the small
with the great !”’





















The Albatross, or Cape Sheep. Gi





_ £dith. Last, year, you know, I came from Sydney, in New ©
South Wales, to London. When we were in the great Southern
Ocean, hundreds of miles from land, we saw several enormous
birds which sailors call the albatross. Sometimes it is called
the Cape sheep, because in.colour and size it is not unlike a
sheep. It is a wonderful bird. Its yéllow beak is hooked, so
that if you throw.over a piece of pork at the.end of a string from
the ship’s deck, with a hook at the end, you may haul the cap-
tive on board without hurting him. We caught one which
measured fourteen feet and more between the tips of his wings.
The ship was sometimes becalmed, and when we threw over the
pork at the end of the long string, it was most interesting to see
how half-a-dozen albatrosses would come wheeling round it in
smaller and smaller circles. Their eyes are on the side of their
head, so they seem to look at the pork with only one at a time.
All this while they had no legs to be seen ; nothing but unbroken.
plumage of snowy whiteness. When they had determined to
snatch at the bait, they dropped out and showed two webbed
feet of a deep flesh colour.

- fapa. Dr. Arnott, in his “ Biysies: ’ remarks how powerful
must be the wing muscles of birds which sustain themselves in
the sky for hours ieperher ‘The great albatross, with wings
extending fourteen feet or more, is seen in the stormy. solitude
of the Southern Ocean accompanying ships for whole days with-
out ever resting on the waves.

Lidith. If the propensities and habits of sea-birds are a lesson
and parable to men, I should say that the albatross shows us
how detestable is the vice of greediness, and how swift the
punishment that often follows it. One day some seamen in the





















12 | ang T, he Albatross.





Southern Ocean caught a whale. They brought it alongside
their vessel, and began to cut it up in order to stow away the
oil, whalebone, and other valuable parts of the animal. While
they were thus employed, a great number of albatrosses, snuffing
the strong odour of the carcass from afar, gathered round the
ship, and gorged themselves to such a degree that they lay
helpless on the waves, unable to rise, and scarcely to move.
When the vessel set her sails and started again on her voyage
they were submerged, stupefied, inanimate, and the ship left
behind a trail of dead albatrosses, suffocated by being dragged
along under the vessel and utterly unable to extricate themselves.

Papa. Captain Cook, the great Yorkshire navigator, who no
doubt had often studied gulls off the coast of Whitby and Flam-
borough Head, informs us that though the albatross is the largest
sea-bird, and remarkable for its strength, it never ventures to
attack other sea-birds; but that, on the contrary, the large
grey gulls of the ocean like to have a peck atan albatross, just’
as a needy scamp tries to rob a respectable old gentleman.
The gulls endeavour to attack the albatross under the belly,
that part being the least capable of defence. But the albatross —
is more than a match for his assailants, for he instantly drops
into the water, dips his body under, and in turn attacks them
with his formidable beak and wings.

Mary. Uhope you will not think me gluttonous, like this bird,
if I ask you whether or not he is good to eat?

Papa. His flesh is dry and tough, and nobody would eat him
if he could. get anything else. The Kamtschadales, I telieve,
take him for the sake of his entrails, which they blow, and use as
buoys for their nets.













The Albatross. | 13





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































a,
eee



















































































































THE ALBATROSS.

Tom, Old sailors used to consider that the albatross was a





















14 Coleridge's ‘* Ancient Mariner.”





bird of good omen, and that it would often show the way to a
ship out of floating ice and snow fog. Coleridge has made this
tradition the theme of his wild poem called ‘The Ancient
Mariner.’’ Let me quote two or three verses :—

At length did cross an albatross,
Tho’ rough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name.

It ate the food it ne’er had eat,
And round and round it flew.

The ice did split with a thunder-fit ;
The helmsman steered us through !

And a good south wind sprung up behind ;
The albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner’s hollo !

_ In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine ;
Whiles all the night, through fog- eke: white,
Glimmered the white moonshine.

“God save thee, ancient mariner !
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!
Why look’st thou so?” ‘*.With my cross-bow,
I shot the albatross !

' “The sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.

“ And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,

Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariner’s hollo!

















Sea-birds excellent Scavengers. 15

“ And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work ’em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
‘Ah, wretch’! said they, ‘the bird to slay,
_ That made the breeze to blow !’”

Mary. . People living on the coast give a great many
different names to the varieties of sea-birds. Some they call
mews, some séa-cobs ; then there are the petrels, puffins, terns,
and sea-skimmers: In some places terns are called sea-swallows.
Then there are the noddies, generally supposed to be very
stupid. . Waudin, in the French language, means a fool.

Tom. Among other important uses of sea-birds, let us not
forget that they are excellent scavengers. Animal matter on
the sea coast, in a putrid state, is very dangerous to human
health. The salt of the sea intensifies the putrefaction, and
Base escape into the air which produce terrible fevers. Now
‘he sea-birds devour putrid fish with great zest and voracity; if
I may so speak, they seem to prefer the flavour of it. They are
thus useful scavengers. Then again, it is well known that their
ordure forms a most valuable manure. In fact, hundreds of
ships are chartered yearly to the Chincha Islands, and other
spots where deposits of this dung are found. These deposits in
some places, Iam told, are enormously thick, as though the sea-
birds had gone there for thousands of years to leave behind
them that which would contribute to enrich the soil, and thus
to promote the well-being and comfort of man. Our farmers
have been great gainers by the smpOststion of guano into this
country.

Mary. Surely we must account those animals well worth



















16 3s er Worms Head.

our notice which, in the ordér of God’s wonderful providence,
make ¢wo ears of corn to grow where, without their assistance,

there would only have been one.

Edith. This seems to be part of what, if I eleries rightly,
the ancient Greeks used to call, the mysterious dance. of ie and

death, of renovation and decay.















































THE WORM’S ITEAD, GLAMORGANSHIRE.

Papa. 1 find that some gulls build their nests on ledges of

rocks near the sea like the Worm’s Head,

in South Wales;

















Remarkable Colony of Gulls. 17

others find a low and. retired spot, such as a Dutch polder, or a
meadow in the neighbourhood of an estuary. |

Mary. One of the most remarkable colonies of gulls is near °
the South Stack Lighthouse, at Holyhead, in North Wales,



































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































STACK ROCKS, HOLYHEAD,

where, I am glad to say, they a are protected on account of
the great s@rvices they render to sailors.

Yom. ButIam sorry to add that on Puffin Island, and also on







Ge

















18 Puffin, or Sea Parrot.





the Anglesea coast, the birds which gave their name to the

rock are almost extinct. é
L£idith. What a curious beak the Puffin has!

















































































































































































































































































































































































_ Papa. This bird is often called the Sra Parrot, or Colter-
-neb, from its peculiar beak. But I have something- more to
say about the gulls. Their eggs vary very much, but



















Colonies of Gulls in Lancashire. 19





generally they are of a deepish olive tint, sprinkled with
large brown ‘and blackish spots. The eggs of some kinds
are pleasant to the taste. They are free from fishy flavour;
when boiled hard they will keep a long time. Speaking
‘of these birds’ eggs, there is in the neighbourhood of
Garstang an island called Sea Gull Island, Pilling Moss. This
moss is about a mile from Stalmine, in the Fylde, and is a wild |
Lancashire tract of peat. About June thousands -upon
thousands of sea gulls darken the air. The singular scene
attracts a few visitors, but the spot is not much known. The
island is two’or three acres in extent, and is the most extra-
ordinary breeding ground of the kind in the kingdom. In the
breeding season there are from ten thousand to twelve thousand
nests upon it. They are sometimes placed so close together that
~ a foot can scarcely be put down between them. Generally they
are from twelve to eighteen inches apart.. In most of them
there are three eggs, in others four. The gulls formerly bred
on Walney Island, off the southern extremity of Furness, but :
being disturbed there, they migrated to Pilling Moss about 1840,

and have ever since been protected by the Reverend Dr. John
Gardner and Mr. Henry Gardner, the owners of the land;

and keepers are employed for that purpose. These gulls | are of
the variety known to naturalists as Larus Ridibundus. There
is a smaller colony on Winniarley Moss, said to be the property
of Colonel Wilson-Patten. In June, 1869, before the new Act
for protecting sea-birds came into Operation, some men were
caught and fined for trespass on the Sea-gull Island, they
having taken a vast number of gulls’ eggs. Forty men had
gone the night before, armed with bludgeons, and supplied with



















20 Gulls once Eaten as Dainties.







large baskets to plunder the nests; and what do you think the ~
former do with the eggs? It is said, which I should hardly
have supposed, that they give them as food to their horses.

Tom. I have read that the young of some varieties of gulls,
three hundred years ago, were considered a ae dainty in
this country.
- Edith. Yes. What should we think now if the cook at some
‘splendid dinner at the Trois Freres Provencaux, in Paris, or the
Albion Tavern, in Aldersgate-street, London, should put down
“See gulles’”? as among the delicacies of the high table ?
Yet we read in the household book of the fifth Earl of Northum-
berland, begun about 1450, that these birds formed a part of
every festival, and cost a penny or three half-pence apiece.

Charlotte. Y have heard that great proprietors used to
encourage colonies of these birds, called. gulleries, where
they resorted when they had put on their bridal plumage, and
where numbers were annually reared and fattened for the

table. So that a good gullery sometimes produced from fifty _
to eighty pounds a-year.

Tom. Willoughby informs us ‘that i in his time the price was
* higher than one-penny or three-halfpence. He tells us of a
colony of these birds which yearly built_and bred at Norbury,
in Staffordshire, in an island in the middle of a great pool, in -
the grounds of Mr. Scrimshew, distant at least thirty miles
from the sea. ‘About the beginning of March hither they
come; about the end of April they build. They lay three,
four, or five eggs, of a dirty green colour, spotted with dark
brown, two inches long, of an ounce-and-a-half weight, blunter
at one end. The first down of the young is ash-coloured, and



















The Gullery at Norbury. 21











































EK IGElEd Lee fy



Se

spotted with black; the first feathers on the back, after they are
fledged, are black. When the young are almost come to their
full growth, those entrusted by the lord of the soil drive.them
from off-the island through the pool into nets set on the banks

















22 Strange and Marvellous Facts.





to take them. When they have taken them, they feed them.
with the entrails of beasts, and when they are fat sell them for .
fourpence or fivepence apiece. They yearly ‘take about a
thousand two hundred young ones; whence may be computed
what profit the lord makes of them. About the end of July
they all fly away, and leave the island.” ,
Charlotte. Dr. Plott, in his History of Staffordshire, adds a
still more strange and marvellous fact concerning the birds that
bred in Peewhit Pool, in the parish of Norbury: that they would
not condescend to breed on any other land than that of the
proprietor of the place. The old Doctor adds that, on the death
of the owner, they deserted the pool for three years, but only
retired to another estate belonging to the next heir.

Papa. In my opinion this is nothing but some absurd tale,
told by a cunning game-keeper to a credulous naturalist.

Tom. Yes; but we mist not reject stories in natural history
merely because they are strange and marvellous. The whims,
if one may so speak, of animals, especially i in places where there
is death, are often utterly incomprehensible. Witness the well-
authenticated story of those Yorkshire bees, who deserted their —
hives to a bee unless they shared the funeral feast, and had
sugar and water placed plentifully at the mouth of their hives
on the day of the funeral.

Edith. 1 don’t believe that story any more than Dr. Plott’s!

Papa. Nothing is more curious, in regard to animals of all
kinds, than the strange consciousness which they often have of
death. The ingenuity which they manifest in seeking to preserve
their lives, and the manner in which they will sometimes feign
death in order to avoid it, involve questions relative to the













Mr. W.R. BRAUNER
Bio N. HANOVER sr.
CLARLICLE. PA,





The Flamborough Pilots. . * 33





nature and limits of instinct and reason, which never have been,
and perhaps never will be, satisfactorily explained in this world. ©

fdith. .We are forgetting one great object of our conversa-
tions as to how we can prevent the fearful destruction of the
sea-birds. With your permission I will read good Mr. Wilton’s
verses, which, by appearing in the Zzmes, did much to sup-
port Mr. Sykes in his efforts to get an Act of Parliament for the
protection of the sea-birds during the breeding season (1 870).
Here they are :— :

THE FLAMBOROUGH PILOTS. -

The lights revolve—now white, now red—
In vain; no warning ray is shed
From mist-enfolded Flamborough Head.

In vain the gun booms on the shore-——-
No warning sound is wafted o’er
The waves that to the darkness roar.

To straining eye and list’ning ear,
In heaven or earth, no signs appear
Whereby bewildered bark may steer.

But suddenly a voice is heard—
The wailing note of wild sea-bird,—
And all the sailor’s heart is stirred.

“The Flamborough Pilots!” is his cry,
. “Beware, beware, thé rocks are nigh!
Turn the ship’s head, and seaward fly.”

Blest birds! kind white-winged pilots!—hark!
Like angels call they through the dark—
Like angels save that helpless bark!

% % % % %























24

The Flamborough Pilots.



’Tis morn—the mists are rolled away---
The beacon-lights are quenched in day;
And boats come stealing round the bay.

The rocks with deadly echoes ring
With rifles that destruction bring
To angel-voice and angel-wing.

Oh, cruel sound! oh, piteous sight!
The gentle pilots of the night
Are MURDERED with the morning light!.

And, lo! for lack of warning call,
Ships lost beneath that white. sea-wall,
- Where now the ‘Flamborough Pilots” fall.



































Sea-bivds and Sailors. 25

_ Charlotte 1 trust that those touching lines will have an
extensive mission of usefulness amongst the rising generation.
If every thoughtless excursionist, who for mere amusement
shoots the sea-birds, would but ¢h’nk-of. the injury that he is



















































































































































































































KINGSGATE, NEAR MARGATE.

perhaps doing to our sailors he would soon put down his ‘gun.

Lapa. Some time ago I saw a wreck at Kingsgate, near
Margate. During the previous night the ship got on the rocks,
and all hands werished: In the morning I saw a solitary bird:



















26. - School-teachers to be interested.

fly over the wreck, and it seemed to say to me, ‘“‘ Such losses of
life and property woud often be prevented if men mous protect
instead of shooting us.’

Edith. Would it not be a wise plan to promote much more

extensively amongst the children in our day schools the principles
of humanity to these birds ?

Papa. 1 recently attended a most delightful conversazione of
school-teachers, at the Institution Buildings, 105, Jermyn Street,
belonging to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, at which the Earl of Harrowby,. Dr. Ellicott, the
good Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, the Rector of Stoke
Newington, the Editor of the British Workman, Mr. Davidson,
and others took part. One pleasing result of the meeting was
the offering of 100 prizes for the best Essays on ‘‘ Humanity
to Animals,’ to be competed for by the scholars in the London
schools, the prizes to be distributed, by Lord PATTONDY, at the
annual meeting in May, 1870.

Tom. That is a good plan. If such prizes were given by
the gentry in every parish in the land, we should soon see a
difference in the treatment not only of dzrds but of beasts.

Charlotte. Miss Burdett-Coutts has set an example in
this respect. Her letter to schoolmasters has, I believe, done
incalculable good. ~

Papa. Perhaps one of the most effective organs for helping
on this cause is the monthly publication, Zhe Animal World. It

is most admirably conducted. The illustrations are by first~

class artists, and many of the articles are, 1 am glad to
state, extensively used by schoolmasters and governesses as
- Reading Lessons.”



















Value of Singing. 27





Edith. In my opinion we ought to strive and enlist the influ-
-ence of music and singing in this cause much more than we
have hitherto done. If such verses as, ‘A Little Girl to the
Sea-birds’”’ and “‘ The Seabird’s Reply,”’ by the Rev. Richard
Wilton, of Londesborough Rectory, were occasionally sung in
every family and school we ‘should soon see more practical
humanity than at present.

_ Papa. (am glad to learn that Mr. Curwen, the promoter
of the tonic sol-fa system, has introduced some admirable
pieces on kindness to animals into his Educational Poems, which
are doing good service, not only in schools but in many private
families. I rejoice that the influence of music is thus being
enlisted on behalf of humanity to, thé? dumb creation. On a
fob recent occasion
when the chil-
dren of many
@, schools for the
‘poor were as-
sembled at the
anniversary meeting of the Royal Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
in St. James’s Hall, twelve hundred voices
sang, with great sweetness and power, a
hymn compiled for the occasion. I can
imagine. a small party practising for this
demonstration, something in the manner
which our clever artist has here depicted.
ee Some of the children may be plain-featured,
ve but they seem to be warbling like nightingales.




















28 Musical Composers.



Charlotte. If the attention of musical composers was specially
called to this question, I think that many of them who have
tender sympathies would gladly aid the cause of the dumb. .























ROSS’S ROSY GULL.

Papa. Swppose, my daughter, that you now favour us with
the words and the music of “ A Little Girl to the Sea-birds.”” I
think that the music is by Mr. T. Crampton, an apt composer
of children’s tunes. _









































uN



es = LN > eee
eS = = Z2 2 ay

case sea- ats ! how ie ho-ver O’eryonhead-land’s

Chie re | oF tle Peel

GS Sas spe he ee ah JN si ce
= oat oar ES EE SS fas I
= x 5 o- =e = a a — ei 23 = \—-F oa















































3 <$- e e eo of g

predic y crest ; And their tend-er nest-lings co - ver With warm wing and

f : r= ze bs: site poe Ft
€ tee poe eg ee

















$3 oe =P ise et ee ea ely all
“a Sete =a Fe faa aS se = =5 =a

Gee y breast. pee sea-birds ! glid-ing, glancing, Thro’ the live-long

eS
-# a4 F-SS 7
Perlite esy eg Seg fae!













































a
=— eo 3 o oe
summer ee sie the merry wavesare nee In the ees and sun -ny oe
-0F. IN
er -@ eons career era
ee feet aS
’ i .



t ae @















_ 30 A Little Girl to the Sea-birds.









A LITTLE GIRL TO THE SEA-BIRDS.

Harry sea-birds! how they hover
O’er yon headland’s breezy crest,

And their tender nestlings cover
With warm wing and downy breast.

Happy sea-birds! gliding, glancing,
Through the livelong summer day, -

Where the merry waves are dancing
In the broad and sunny bay.

Lovely birds ! with graceful motion .-
Giving life to rock and sand, ,
Adding beauty to the ocean,
Adding beauty to the strand.

How the eye delights to follow
Where they circle o’er the deep,

Or with swiftness of the swallow
O’er the glassy waters. sweep. —

Useful sea-birds! screaming loudly
Through the dark and stormy night,

When the billows thunder proudly,
And the beacons shed no light.

How the mariner rejoices
When he hears their timely cry,
How he thanks the thousand voices
Warning him of danger nigh.

Happy, useful, and so pretty,
I will always be their friend ;
I will show the sea-birds pity,
And their harmless lives defend.













.

_ The Sea-bird’s Reply.

31







_ Not that I may wear a feather
- Shall the gentle sea-birds die,
While, exposed to wind and weather,
Their poor nestlings famished lie.

Not about my hat or bonnet
Shall a sea-bird’s wing be bound,
Lest the spot of blood upon it
Weigh my spirit to the ground.

Not for me one feathered pilot

. Shall be slaughtered any more,

Lest on misty cape or islet
Helpless ships be cast ashore.

I will love them for their beauty
As they float on wind or wave;

I will guard them as a duty
That I owe to sailors brave.

I will be their friend much rather
For His sake who made us all,

Our Almighty; loving Father
Who beholds one sea-bird fall !

RicHarD Witton, M.A.

THE SEA-BIRDS’ REPLY.

How we thank you, gentle maiden,
For your self-denying love ;

May your happy days be laden
With all blessings from above!

We will always love you dearly,
Little girl, where’er you be,

























32 The Sea-birds Reply.

Anda hearty welcome yearly
We will give you to the sea.

Sunny skies and pleasant weather
Let us hope kind heaven will send:
By her hat without a feather
We shall know our little friend ;

By her amiable features, .
By her goodness and her grace,

By the love for all God’s creatures
Shining sweetly in her face.

We will haste to do her honour
From our breezy home on high,

Like a glance of God upon her
Glancing downward from the sky.

Round her path we’ll fondly cluster
“In a bright revolving ring, -
On her brow we'll shed a lustre
Better than a sea-bird’s wing; -

Better than the soft caressing
Of a feather in her hair,

We will wish her God’s own blessing
To attend her everywhere !

_ RICHARD WILTON, M.A, -
Londesborough Rectory.

Papa. Excellent. I hope that these musical notes will ring
through many a school and many a home. Let us now defer
our conversation until to-morrow evening.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































- THE CRAB ROCK, NEAR FLAMBOROUGH HEAD. P 32,









x, The Guillemot. . 33

























































































































































































































































































CONVERSATION IL

Charlotte. Papa, will you please tell us something about the’
guillemot ? :

















34 The Common Guillemot.

Papa. The upper parts of the body are of a dark brown.
colour, inclining to black, except the tips of some of the wing
feathers, which are white. All the under parts of the body are
also white. These birds mostly breed in very inaccessible
rocks and steep cliffs. They were once very numerous in the

- Isle of Man, in Cornwall, on Prestholm Island, near Baumaris ;













































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































LAND’s END, CORNWALL.

also on the Fern island, Northumberland, and in the cliffs, near
Scatlon ; but, I regret to say, that the folly of man has greatly
reduced the flocks of these fine birds.
Charlotte. Mr. Yarrell says that “ about the middle of May
. the common guillemot, with many other species of birds

















LCN QULNS. é 35

frequenting rocks at that season, collect at particular points,
where, from the numbers that congregate and the bustle
“apparent among thems, confusion of interest and_ localities
might be expected; but, on the contrary, it will be found that
the guillemots occupy one ,
station, or line of ledges upon
the rock; the puffins a third;
the kittiwake gulls a fourth ;
whilst the most inaccessible .
pinnacles seem to be left for the
use of the lesser black-backed
and the herring gulls. Two
distinet species scarcely ever
breed by the side of each
other.’’

Mary. 1s not the guillemot
very similar, in appearance,
to the king penguin?

fapa. In several respects
it is. Here is a picture of a
congregation of king penguins.
These birds, you are aware, are
not to be found in this country,
but only in the southern lati-_
tudes. What a remarkable:
account Dr. Bennett gives of-
these birds in his work on Mac-
quarie’s Island! He says :— Jconnox GUILLEMOT.

“The number of penguins collected together in this spot is



















36 London Birds.

immense. But it would be almost impossible to guess at it with
any near approach to truth, as during the whole of the day
thirty or forty thousand of them are continually landing, and an
equal number going to sea. They are arranged, when on
shore, in as compact a manner, and in as regular ranks, as a ©
regiment of soldiers, and so classed in the greatest: order, the
young birds being in one situation, the moulting birds in
another, the sitting hens in a third, the clean birds in a fourth,
&c.; and so strictly do birds in similar condition congregate,
that should a bird that is in moulting intrude itself among
those which are clean it is immediately ejected from among
them !”’

Mary. Shall we now return to the consideration of the
birds of our own country; for the penguins are not our neigh-
bours, companions, or visitors ?

Edith, Our own birds of course have the greatest claim
upon our attention, and I suppose never does a day elapse with-
out our seeing some of them. It is observable that in the
poorest districts of London and country towns, large numbers
of song birds and other varieties are kept. The humblest
mechanics take a delight in listening to their sweet notes. The
monotony of the shuttle’s rattle is varied with the voice of the
thrush or the nightingale. Our little feathered friends indeed
are everywhere. The Guildhall Pigeons coo on the top of the
van which conveys culprits from the prison to:the police-office.
Sparrows make friends with cabmen, and are fed with the
crumbs which fall from the table of the coffee-stall keepers.
Housemaids, shake your breakfast cloth out of window, and
leave to the poor little birds a dainty bit !





















* PENGUINS.











The Plover. — 37































thy

Xi

es : aden
ng NN Ne ?
L jo SAN
SO

XY : Nerd









COMMON THICK-KNEED PLOVER.

Zom. Sometimes, when I go out to breakfast, I find nestling
in a bed of moss a quantity of plovers’ eggs, which are con-
sidered a dainty. Ought we to rank plovers as birds of the

“sea ?

Papa. Some varieties are marine, that is, belonging to the
sea; but some species prefer the muddy borders of great

x

















38 Ly he Gelden Plover.



rivers, and marshy places, where they can find plenty of small
worms and water insects. They are rarely found in the
. neighbourhood of the sea-coast; but
‘other sorts appear to like the sea,
: and the mouth of those rivers that
fall into the sea. One variety of
plover is so much like another that
it is very difficult to separate the
different species with anything like
=, accuracy. |
Mary. I once. saw a_ plover
which I was told was called’ che





























golden. The top of his head, as well as the whole of the upper

parts of his body, the wings and the tail, were fine silky black,
varied with large golden-yellow spots, placed on the edges of
the webs; the sides of the head, the neck, and the breast, were
varied with spots of grey, brown, and yellow. The throat and
under parts of the body were white. |

Tom. The poor plover has four eggs, about the size and
shape of those of the lapwing, of a greyish olive, blotched with
dwsky. The mother builds her nest hiddes in heath; but she
conceals the precious deposit in vain, for people get a living by
hunting for them, and they are brought in quantities to London,
and other great cities and towns, to be boiled, and eaten by
the epicure. .

Edith. Yes; but let me tell you that thousands of eggs are
sold in London to ignorant people, as plovers’ eggs, that are
no more so than you or I.

Mary. The New York people say that another sort, very

















The Dottrel Plover. - 39

much like the golden, is called, in America, the Large Whistling
Field-bird, from its note, which is very shrill. Its flesh is said
to be exquisite.

Tom. Another sort is‘the Dottrel Plever. These are queer
and comical animals. Formerly it was the custom to. go in
quest of them in the night, with
a lighted torch or candle. The
birds, on these occasions, would §
- mimic the actions of the fowler
with great archness. When he
stretched out an arm, they would
stretch out their wings. If he
moved a foot, they moved one
also. In fact, they endeavoured
to imitate every one of his
motions. Then the fowler spread his net and entangled them.

Papa. May we not learn from this that if we are silly enough
to imitate popular vices, we may be entangled in consequences
fatal to our welfare? Lord Bacon says, “‘ We see how ready
apes and monkeys are to imitate all motions of man, and
in catching of dottrels we see how the foolish bird playeth the
ape in gestures !”’ |

Tom. Was not the bird called a dottrel because he was
supposed to be delirious and silly; or, as we say of a man
whose understanding is impair ed by years, that he does, or is a
dotard ?

Papa. J think that derivation is very likely. Sully people
are sometimes called do¢trels in the north of England, just as
they are called geese.



















40 The Chattering Plover.

Edith. The French name for a plover is pluviery. I wonder
if the bird was so called because
the Norman conquerors seized
it and took it for food, just as
\; we call a sheep mutton when
it is killed, and calf weal, that is -
vean.
Charlotte. Last summer I saw
a sweet little plover skimming
- along the sands of the sea-shore,
staking short flights, twittering and
twittering, then nimbly alighting, ~
and as nimbly running again, -and
when I tried to get near him,
flying out of sight. He hada collar round his neck of pure
white. : AS :

Papa. No doubt ye saw a ringed plover, called by Buffon,
“Je pluvier a collier.”

Tom. Some say that we must call him one of our feathered
visitors, because he goes away to-southern climes in the autumn,
and comes back with the warmth of spring. :

Mary. Montagu, I am told, denies this statement, and says
that he has captured many specimens during the severest
winters in Devonshire and Cornwall. In America there is a
variety called the Chattering Plover, or Kill-deer, and some-
times the Noisy Bird. Though it has some other peculiarities,
it has the white collar round the neck.

Tom. Why is it called Kil/-deer? Does it actually destroy
stags and antelopes ?
































The Sanderling and Oyster-catcher. 41





Edith. No; but it sets up a loud chattering cry the moment
any one approHehes which sounds very much like the word
“* kill-deer.”’
_ Mary. But that is not such a queer mode of speech as tiie
New Zealand plover makes, which has a black collar round its
neck instead of a white one. This animal is called ‘* Dood-
oor-oa-attoo,”’ probably from its cry.

Zom. There is a strange-looking ives that is a native of
Senegal. The forehead is covered with a yellow membrane,
passing round the eyes. This is the hooded, or crested plover.
Another sort inhabits the coast of Malabar, the forehead having
naked, bare skin, hanging down i in a pointed flap on each side
of the jaw.

Edith, What is a Sanderling or Curwillet : >

Papa. It is a bird not unlike a plover, prefers the sea-shore,
and lives on small beetles, and other marine insects. “a once
heard an old shrimper call this a Tow-willey, but whys I cari-
didly confess, I don’t know.

Lidith. One of the queerest birds
I ever heard of is the Oyster-_
catcher, sometimes called the Sea-
pie. He is a remarkably clever
thief, and derives his name from
the dexterity with which he procures
his favourite food. He watches
until an unfortunate oyster gapes’
wide enough; then in goes his strong
beak, before the oyster has time to shut up the door of his
house; and soon out comes the poor oyster, whom the bird





















aaa" The Lapwing.





pecks to pieces at leisure. He is good-natured and companion-
able, and, though wild at first, is easily tamed. If taken young,
he behaves himself well in the poultry- ae nuns for food in

neighbouring ponds and ditches.

Papa. There is a rare bird, not unlike a aiouek called the
Cream-coloured Courser. It is a native of Africa. Only three
_ specimens have, it is believed, been taken in Europe. One

.was shot near St. Albans, in Hertfordshire. It ran with
incredible swiftness. .

Tom. I suppose that we must not call sandpipers, peewits,
or lapwirigs, sea-birds, though they prefer marshes and the
banks of rivers. It is a pity they should be shot for mere
wanton and cruel sport, for they are very useful to the gardener. ©
In Holland they are sometimes eaten as food, and their eggs
fetch a high price as a breakfast dainty. The mother and
father lapwings are very fond
of their little olive-coloured off-
spring. These are able to run
‘two or three days after they
are hatched, but are not capable
of flying till nearly full-grown.
Dr. Shaw informs us that they
are led about by the parents in
search of food, ee ae are not fed by them. During this
period of bird babyhood, the bird parents exhibit the greatest
anxiety for their children’s welfare. The arts used by them to
turn aside boys and dogs from the little cave in the ground
near which the young ones are nestling, are very singular. The
mother bird, upon the approach ofan intruder, boldly pushes

























eS The Crane. a 43





out to meet him. When as near as she dare venture, she |
springs from the ground with a loud scream, and strikes at the
invader with her wings, now and then fluttering about as if
- sorely wounded, To complete the deception, she grows more
clamorous as she retires from the nest. At last, when the
pursuers are drawn off to a proper distance, she shakes her
plumage for flight, and leaves them far behind.

Edith. Nor are they less comical in their mode of finding
their food. I have seen this bird approach a worm-cast, hop
round it, then slightly move and scratch the ground with her
feet, disturbing the worm beneath, who came to the entrance
of his hole to see what was the matter. The bird gently
caught him, so to speak, by the nose, pulled him out with great
delicacy and tenderness, as-if she knew he might break in half
if she wasn’t careful, and then ate him up ey leaving not
a morsel behind.

Tom. Ought we to call cranes sea- birds: ?

Papa. No; it is true that they live in marshy places, in
order that they may more easily find the worms, frogs, and
slugs, on which they feed, but they rarely visit the sea-shore.
It is remarkable that only one kind inhabits Europe.

Tom. The crane is said to be one of our feathered visitors,
for it retires northwards in the spring to breed, but in the
winter season it returns to warmer regions, : such as India and
Egypt.

Lidith. Is it ever-found anywhere in ‘England?

Papa. No, I believe not at present. It is one of the birds
that has been extirpated by the march of civilization, by the
draining of the low fens of the counties of Cambridge and



















44 i Turnstones.





Lincoln, and by the cruel spirit of persecution with which it
has been attacked, because it was supposed to eat seeds, and
to bite off young plants. It was formerly abundant in the
country. At royal and corporation feasts dozens were served
up atatime. The last specimen is said to have been shot in
Cambridgeshire above eighty years ago.





























































































TURNSTONE.

Tom. What are turnstones?

Papa. They are true sea-birds, and very much like the
dottrel and sand-piper. They feed upon beetles, and other
insects, and such grubs and worms as hide themselves under
pebbles and stones on the sea-shore. They are so called
because they turn over these stones with their beaks. We may -
class them under our feathered visitors, for they prefer cold
weather to warm. They do not breed with us, but visit our





















Lhe Hooping- Crane and Egret flerom. | 45





shores in August, and they leave us in the spring, retiring
further and further north.

Edith. once saw a large specimen, stuffed, of the hooping-
crane. It measured four feet six inches in length. It is never
known in England, but in the summer it is abundant in Hudson’s
Bay. It retires to the south in the autumn. There are two
large varieties of the same bird, known as the Indian and as
the Siberian. :

Tom. Another bird of the crane sort was formerly common
in this. country, and was served up as a dainty at great feasts.
It was called the little egret heron. It is now extinct, having
been destroyed from the face of the earth. It was an elegant
bird, and so common in former times that Archbishop Nevile
had one thousand served up at his great feast.

Mary. In the old records of Beverley, is to be found an

account of the expenses of a present to the Earl of Northum-
berland in 1502. Among them is the payment of twelve
shillings for six heronsewes, two bitterns, and four shollards.
_ Papa. Remember that the heronsew, hernsew, or hernshaw,
for it was written in all these ways, was a young heron, and
was esteemed a choice delicacy. Chaucer, in his ‘‘ Canterbury
Tales,’’ describing the feast of Cambriscan, says:

“T wull not tellen of hir strange sewes,
Ne hir swannes, ne hir heronsewes.”

Tom. I have read that from this last word, still further
corrupted, arose the proverbial expression, introduced by
Shakspere into “Hamlet,” ‘I am but mad, north, north-west ;
when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw.”’

Mary. Did you ever eat a bit of heron ?



















46 fLabits of the Fleron.





Edith. No; I should think not indeed! Such birds would
now be discarded as little better than rank carrion.

Papa. Yes; but let me tell you that it was formerly esteemed
a great dainty, and called ‘‘viand royal.” Even the full- -grown
bird was not too powerful for the digestive organs of those
days, and heronries were kept up in various parts of ane
country for the purposes of food as well as diversion.

Tom. No doubt this was partly owing to the difficulty of -
obtaining fresh meat during the winter months.

Edith. People do not generally know that the capture or
destruction of this bird was severely punished.

Tom. It is also a curious fact that the fat of the bird used
to be much sought after in the composition of the pastes used
_ for the purpose. of angling. An old writer, quoted in Sir |
William Jardine’s ‘“‘Naturalist’s Library,’”’ says that any bait
anointed with the fat of the thigh-bone of the heron is a great
temptation to any fish. The scent from his legs was considered
attractive to them when he waded in the water.

Papa. Surely here we see an instance of design in thé
creation. The heron, during the greater parts of the year, is a
wading bird. His favourite food is fish of all accessible kinds
and water reptiles. He will also attack water-rats and mice,
and young aquatic birds. Now the odour of his legs seems to
attract the fish, thus bringing his prey within easy reach.

‘Tom. His mode of life also contains a lesson to us all. In
the late parts of autumn and winter he may be seen by the sea-
shore, taking his station as soon as the shoals begin to be
uncovered by the ebbing of the tide; then eating till he is
thoroughly gorged. . Rows of them have been observed.on some

















Varieties of Fleron. 47





retired sand-bank, their heads sunk between their shoulders,
exhibiting a lively picture of full-fed lnSs, Then it is that
they are easily caught.

‘Mary. It really seems a pity to take them. They are so
beautiful, and would be such a picturesque accompaniment to
_ every rural scene, whether the landscape be of the refined park,
the wild “and pastoral glen, or the precipitous ocean rock.

Edith. \ have heard it said that their quill is of extra-
ordinary strength. —

Tom. Their bill is; for, in a state of nature, ee generally
transfix their prey with a. sudden dart or blow of their bill. I
never heard that their quill is stronger than that of other birds.

fapa. Were is another striking evidence of design in
creation. The quills and feathers of all birds are remarkable
for their combination of lightness and strength. Some
inventive enthusiasts have thought that a flying machine will be
practicable as soon as large wings can be made as light and as
strong in proportion as feathers.

Mary. The grouping of the black el white feathers,.

relieved by tints of rich purple grey, is very beautiful.

Tom. What is an egret : ?

Papa. This bird is generally considered a variety of the
heron. The plumage is generally pure white: they breed on
trees, sometimes at only a few feet from the ground, but
generally at a high elevation; always near water. Sometimes
the great white egret is called the great white heron. This
bird measures, in length, three feet four or five inches. '

Edith. One variety is called the cow or cattle heron, because
it attends upon cows, and seems to delight in their company.





















48 Bitterns.





Charlotte. Can any explanation be given of this preference ?

Papa. Yes; it is very fond of feeding on the numberless
insects which surround cows, and irritate them sometimes
almost to madness. It must be a great comfort to the cow to
find herself relieved of these troublesome visitants by a long- ©
billed attendant, who snaps them up by hundreds and
thousands.

Tom. What are Bienes ?

Mary. They are skulking birds: the plumage of their |
crown, and upper parts, is black; the bill, legs, and feet, are
_ of a dark yellow, sometimes greenish. The prevalent appear-
ance of the bird is a sort of sienna yellow, dashed with brown.
It is a marsh bird, and loves to wander about in the night. I
suppose we must call it a visitant that arrives in the autumn
and stays.during the winter. It makes a peculiar booming
noise. It used’ to be a favourite dish at the tables of our
‘forefathers ; but now it. is discarded because its flavour is fishy.
But some say, that a it is kept long enough, it is tender and
good. :

Lidith. . Ought we to consider the stork an inhabitant or a
visitor in England ?

Papa. J never saw one in Eneiand (except i in the Zoological
Gardens), and I believe they are becoming more and more rare..
On the continent of Europe these birds are frequently kept
tame in the market-places. They are something like the dogs
of Constantinople, for they are excellent scavengers. They
clear off refuse with much skill and completeness, stalking .
lazily amongst the stalls and buyers and sellers. After they
have glutted themselves with offal, they fly away to the tops of













W.R. BRAUNER
N. HANOVER ST:
ARLISLE. PA-

Bi
G

MR,











49

Storks.



































































































































































































































































































































































































































the houses, where they perch sometimes on one leg, and look,
_at a little distance, like statues against the sky. They like to



















50 - : Tame Stork.

breed on the tops of chimneys, on the spires of churches, and
on other elevated buildings. in towns. In Holland it is
considered very unlucky to kill one. Artificial flat-topped
erections are often put up for its use and convenience. The
stork is a friendly bird, and delights to live among the habi-
tations of men. In some cities abroad heavy penalties: -are
levied on those who wound or destroy it. ;

Tom. The principal sort, I believe, has plumage fete, pure
white, with here and there glossy black.

Edith. Yes; but its bill, legs, and feet are as red as red.

Charlotte. In the British Workman, for 1867, there is an
interesting account of a tame stork, then belonging to Mr.
Samuel Gurney, of Carshalton, which, through kind treatment,
had become so very tame that
the bird, never seemed so
happy as when in the society ,
of the labourers, or in follow-
ing the ploughman up and
down the furrows. During
the hay-time the mowers could
scarcely take a stroke with
their scythe before the stork
-was at their heels, and he
would never leave them until
their work was done. When
the men were at dinner he
would refresh himself by taking a short sleep, standing on-one
leg, in which position not only storks but other birds usually
go to rest. _























51

Spoonbill.





° My yy DD

i,



Le

lj
re



LC







Uh, i
Go.

ey
e







wane Pa
vz A
any BGO



\# Sigs

en ret
Shires yy






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Why is this bird called a spoonbill?
Because it has a long bill like a flat spoon.

lary.

It is

crinkled and wrinkled towards the eye, and quite black, but

Tom.

This

‘

towards the tip it is yellow, and almost golden in hue.















52

Spoonbill.





wonderful machine is evidently designed by the Creator to help
it in procuring its food. It is fond of small sea reptiles and fish, :





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































SPOONBILLS.

but it feeds upon.all the produce of marine and aquatic life,
which is so plentifully found in pools left by the sea-side, or is

formed by fresh waters.

















-

Zax on Lire-arms. Se





Mary. Could we not find out what food it sie Oe by
watching its habits in confinement?
Papa. No; because in confinement the habits of all birds

are so greatly modified. How could you find out that a boy

liked oranges and sugar-candy, if he was kept in a cage and
never saw a morsel of either? They are certainly fond of fish.
Young birds when caught will feed freely on bread and: milk.

Tom. In days gone by the spoonbill was often found in
“various parts of the United Kingdom, but now the breed is
_almost extinct.

Charlotte. 1 have sometimes read, in the accounts of old
feasts, that the crane was served up as a dainty.

Papa. Ay; that is so. But we are not at all certain that the
bird so esteemed was the same as is now called a crane by
modern writers on the subject. He is very seldom seen in Eng-
land. He is a large and handsome bird. Heuis very ambitious,
and loves elevated stations. We must call him a visitor, for he
only appears for a very short time during the year.

Mary. Mr. Wood states that a specimen of the crane is
now seldom seen in our country, except in a zoological garden.

Papa. Weare informed by the historians that cranes formerly
visited the marshes of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire in vast
flocks, but by the folly of man this useful bird is almost extinct in
our country. It is to be hoped that the clever proposal of the
present Chancellor of the Exchequer (1870) to tax fire-arms
will save the life of many a valuable bird. Mr. Lowe knows
how useful birds are, for he has lived in Australia, where they
import them from England. .

Tom. The Australian colonists are wisely encouraging the















o4

Cranes.























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE CRANE.

importation of birds, whilst Englishmen are foolishly destroying

them !

Charlotte. I do wish that the tax on guns had been adopted

long ago by parliament.

It would have been a boon not only

to the birds but to the nation.

















Cranes. » 55





















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































DEMOISELLE AND CROWNED CRANES,

‘Tom. Ihave here a beautiful engraving of the demoiselle and
crowned cranes, which are to be found in Eastern Europe.
The coronet of rich golden plumes, of the latter bird, renders
‘it very attractive. . ;

















56 . . Woodcock.





2 WOODCOCK.

Tom. What do you say about the woodcock? Is hea visitor,
or an inhabitant ? . i

Papa. There are instances on record of his having bred in.
various parts of Great Britain, but generally he comes to us in
the beginning or towards the end of October, and flies away
before March. -

Tom. have heard game-keepers say that these birds are
remarkably shy. When they have settled themselves comfortably
down for the winter, they prefer a wood of hollies, or other large
evergreens, where they can run along underneath. There they



















Snipe. ae



remain quiet during the day; but when twilight arrives they like
to go to a good marsh for their supper. Their favourite food
is water insects: these they obtain by boring in the mud. They
are very fond too of grubs, found under dead leaves.











f:dith, The snipe is in some respects like the woodcock, but



















58 Fudcock.



in others different. Itis a winter visitant, coming in October and
leaving: in March. :

Mary. What is a judcock ?
| Papa. Wt is a beautiful bird, much smaller than a common
snipe, though it belongs to the race.

Edith. Once when I was staying in Lincolnshire, I was
shown a black-tailed godwit. It was formerly considered a great
delicacy for the table, but now they are not much admired.
Then there is the red-breasted snipe or red godwit.

Tom. It is interesting to observe the difference between the
summer and the winter dress of
many of these birds. When they
take to themselves a mate, they
put on a much handsomer dress. _

Edith. One variety of these
birds is called the green-legged
horseman; but why, | do not know.
This class of birds is known by
many different names, and every
sort has some peculiarity. There
is the will-wicket, called also the
_ sand- lark, or sandy iaversele

Mary.- 1 am sorry to say that another remarkable bird is
gradually passing away from our island. I refer to the ruff male
and reeve female. It used to visit usin summer, but the diain-
age of the fens and the general cultivation of the country
lessen its: numbers every year. Thus it is that many birds
which were common among us a a ago are now scarcely
to be met with. . Aa 8

















The Ruff.

ie “AR ) .
‘Ci: eh
Coo Nie :

lk











THE RUFF.

Papa. The trade of catching and fattening ruffs for the
market was, at one time, a very lucrative trade in England,

‘but now we rarely hear of a ruff being used for the purposes of
food. ; : ack















60 ioe Sandpipers. :



Charlotte. Did you ever see a dunlin, or stint, or purre?

Papa. No; I never met with one; but they are equally dis-
tributed all along our sea-shores, from Shetland to the Scilly
Islands. His habits are those of the other sand-pipers. -In
fact, there are a great many sorts of sand-pipers. There is the
- purple or rock, the curlew and little stint, the broad-bill, and
some that are occasional stragglers found on the sea-shore.

Tom. Why was the black-winged stilt so called?.

Papa. I should think from its long red legs. These birds
like to stand in a shallow pool of water; mid-leg deep, and to
snap leisurely at the insects which buzz around them.

Tom. 1 confess I am getting tired of talking about these
sand-pipers and peewhits. They are very curious to look at,
and some of them very delicious when well cooked; butthe lives,
if I may so speak of them, possess very little variety. Man does
- not hold much intercourse with them; he les in wait for them;
~ he shoots them; eatsthem. Hesometimes kills them apparently
from a mere savage love of destruction. He observes that they
are intensely fond of their children, that they show great skill
and cunning in enticing away a stranger from the neighbour-
hood of a nest, but it is seldom one meets with a personal
anecdote illustrating the history of an individual among them. |
This is most likely owing to the fact that they come and go,
like guests at an inn, and are seldom or never tamed.

Papa. 1 must add one word more. We have mentioned
many uses of sea-birds, but there is one to which we have not: -
hitherto alluded.’ I remember to have read in Sir Henry Ellis’s
edition of Brand’s ‘Observations on Popular Antiquities,’’ that
the minister of Arbirlot,in the county of Forfar, informed Sir John



















| Bitterns. 7 of 61



Sinclair that sea-gulls are considered as ominous; when they
‘appear in the fields a storm from-the south-east generally follows,
and when the storm begins to abate they fly back to the shore.
In the parish of Holywood, Dumfriesshire, they are commonly
called sea-maws. They come occasionally from the Solway
Frith to that part of the country. « Their arrival seldom fails of
being followed by a high wind and heavy rain from the south-
west, within twenty-four hours, and. they. return to the Frith
again as soon as the storm begins to abate. Willsford, in his
“‘Nature’s Secrets,’ says, ‘“‘Sea-mews early in the morning,
~ making a gaggering more than ordinary, foretoken stormy and
blustering weather.” The same author informs us that. when
cormorants, mallards, and other water-fowls bathe themselves
much, prune their feathers, and flicker or clap themselves with
their wings, heavy rain and high wind are sure to follow.
' Edith. Bishop Hall, in his “Characters of Virtues and Vices,”
speaking of the superstitious man,
says, “‘If a bittern fly over his head
by night, he makes his will.’’ In
Wild’s “Iter Boreale,’’ we read,
“The peaceful king-fishers are met
together, about the decks, and
prophesy calm weather.”’

.Zom., It appears from the poet
Aristophanes that the same idea
‘was prevalent in Greece more than
per two thousand years ago.









“From birds in sailing, men instruction take,
Now lie in port, now sail, and profit make.”















62 Value of Sea-birds.

Mary. Jt appears then.that sea-birds, to a certain extent,
answer the purpose of a barometer as well as a lighthouse and
a buoy. a. Bs age Pe

Edith. Yes, and they answer to the storm signals now in use
at every port. They claim, then, the fullest protection that we
can cast around them; to ‘destroy~ them in order to decorate a
bonnet is surely at once a blunder and a crime. :

Charlotte. Why was it that the old Presbyterians of Scotland
thought the lapwing such an unlucky bird?.. :

Papa. Some say the following was the reason: As this bird
frequents solitary places, its haunts were sometimes invaded by
fugitive Presbyterians during the persecution they suffered in
the reigns of Charles II. and James II., when they were often
discovered by the clamours of the lapwing. .















































































































































































































































































































































































































































Swallows. 63

POS Eloy
ao JUG”



















CONVERSATION III.

Papa. Suppose that we now consider the hints that are given
to us as to various kinds of évades and occupations by the habits
of birds. : ts ou pee

Tom. - This is a most curious subject. Some birds may. be













64. The Mechanwal Skill o Birds.

called masons, some miners, others carpet-makers, others again
basket-makers, weavers, and sailors. Others, again, make felt
and cement. Others are architects, and make domes. With all
our boasted mechanical skill, we cannot rival, much less can we
improve, the.ingenuity and geometrical accu of these little
designers and artificers.
_ Edith. Did you say that some birds were Mais
Tom. Yes; such is the bank-swallow, or sand-martin. He.
does not, like some gnawing insects, bite off a portion of the
sand, and carry it out of the hole in its mouth: it clings with





its claws to the bank, and then pecks holes in the sand, just as
a miner would with his pickaxe. Some say that the hole it
makes is as round as if it was marked out with a pair of com-
passes, and that if there is any irregularity it is owing to the
crumbling ofthe sand. The excavation is always funnel-shaped.
‘It is generally from two to three feet deep, something like an
anderground gallery, where a bed of loose hay and a few of the
smaller breast feathers of geese, ducks, or fowls, is 5 spread with
little art for the reception of the eggs.

Papa. Observe‘also that the gallery 1 is always a little uphill,
so that the rain never settles in it. ~

£dith. Jt is:said these swallows sometimes desert a hole
because it gets so full of fleas, just in the same way ‘as the
tourist avoids some continental hotels.

Papa. Sailors say nobody can tell anything of where the
stormy petrels come from, or how they breed, unless they hatch
their eggs under their wings as they sit on the water. _

Tom. What a ridiculous idea! Just so they have sometimes
been called witches, and Mother Carey’s chickens, from some























Stormy Petrel, 65





ideal hag of that name. Wilson, in his “‘ American Ornith-
ology,’” gives a most eloquent description which I will venture to
quote. “‘It.is,’’ says he, “indeed an interesting sight to
observe these little birds, in a gale, coursing over the waves,
‘down the declivities, and up the ascents of: the foaming surf
that threatens to burst over their heads, sweeping along the
hollow troughs of the sea as in a sheltered valley, dnd again
-mounting with the rising billow, and just above its surface,
occasionally dropping their . feet, : 3
which, striking the water, throw
them up again with additional
force, sometimes leaping, with both
legs parallel, on the surface of the ~
roughest waves for several yards ° :
at a time. Meanwhile they con- .
tinue coursing from side to side of |
the ship’s wake, making excursions | 5
far and wide to the right and to the
left, now a great way ahead, and
now shooting astern for several hundred yards, returning again
to the ship as if she were all the while stationary, though
_perhaps running at the rate of ten knots an hour. But the most
singular peculiarity of this bird is its faculty of standing, and
even running, on the surface of the water, which it performs
_ with apparent facility. .When any greasy matter is thrown
overboard, these birds instantly collect around it, facing to
windward, with their long wings expanded and their webbed
feet patting the water. The lightness of their bodies and the
action of the wind on ‘their wings, enable them with ease to





















66 — Pupfins.





assume this position. In calm weather they: perform the same
manceuvre, by keeping their wings just so much in action as to
pe event their feet from sinking below the surface.’’ ,

- Edith. Jt is found by observation that oe excavate
burrows, and even fortify their retreats.

‘Charlotte. Puffins also make their nests in a hole three or
four feet below the surface of the ground.

Tom. -1 am sorry to say that the puffin is a naughty bird, and |
fond of fighting. His bill seems adapted for warfare. It is of
a singular form, exactly resembling two very short blades of a
. knife applied one against the other by the edge.. Ravens
sometimes offer hattle to puffins; but as soon as the raven draws
near, in the hope, perhaps, of stealing an egg or a young bird,
the mother puffin catches him under the throat with her beak,
and sticks her claws into his breast, till he screams with agony, ;
and tries to get away. But the puffin keeps fast hold of him,
and tumbles him about till: both frequently fall into the sea,
where the raven is drowned, and the puffin returns in triumph
to her nest. But should the raven in the first outset get hold of
the puffin’s neck, the former generally conquers.

Freddie. When I was in New Zealand, I remember seeing a
strange bird, called a Kakopo, which is now almost, if not
entirely, extinct. We brought one with usin a cage as far as
Sydney. It got out one day, and burrowed a hole between two
and three feet deep, so that we thought we had lost it’ We
found it: by calling out ‘‘Kakopo, Kakopo,”’ when it answered,
and came to the mouth of its cave. It was very tame, and
. allowed itself to be secured without a struggle. It died shortly
afterwards, apparently of chagrin.

















Fackdaws. 67

































































































JACKDAWS:.

faith. Jackdaws also make their houses in holes.
Tom. Yes; but not often. They seem to prefer the inter-

stices in buildings or rocks.
‘ £Edith. But what should you. think of the lark mE: The

poet Grahame says of him:—- ‘ =
“The daisied lea he loves, where tufts of grass
Luxuriant crown the ridge; there, with his mate,
He founds their lowly house, of withered leaves
And coarsest speargrass; next, the inner work
With finer, and still finer fibres-lays,
Rounding it curious with his speckled breast.” -

Freddie. It is observable that the female lark not only
scrapes a cavity in which to form her nest, but sometimes



















68 Affection of Eider Duck.





loosens the bottom of it to a considerable depth. She places
the first layers of her nest very loosely, so that if any moisture
should get in, it may sink down and be absorbed. One writer
says that if she uses any horsehair in building the nest it is of
a white colour. Thus we observe that the lark has not only
some notion of mining but of drainage too. .

Tom. Yes; but some birds seem to like moisture. The little
grebe or dab-chick, for instance, makes a nest of wet grass and
rushes, increasing the materials as she continues to lay.

Papa. We havea beautiful instance of motherly affection in
the eider-duck, from whence comes the well-known eider-down.
I am not sure whether the eider-duck is naturally a miner, but
some of the Icelandic proprietors of breeding-grounds, in order
to accommodate their little families, cut out holes in rows on
the smooth sloping banks, where they would not otherwise
build, but of which they gladly take possession when thus
scooped out. The male and female together work at the nest,
laying a rather coarse, but plentiful, foundation of sea-weed and
rift grass. Upon this rough mattress the female spreads a bed
of the finest down plucked from her own breast. Though this
only weighs when cleaned three-quarters of an ounce, Pennant
says it is so elastic as to fill the crown of the largest hat. Thus,
you see, the bird strips herself to warm her children.

Freddie. We have hitherto spoken of mining and draining
birds, but other sorts are masons and plasterers. We might
almost call them potters. The nut-hatch is said to breed in the
hole of a tree; if this hole be too large, she narrows the entrance
with mud as neatly kneaded as if she had hired a bricklayer.
She uses this device to barricade out unwelcome intruders, such |



















The Swift.

69





- as wood - peckers.
She has a sort of
idea of distinct fam-
ily life; she wishes
also to keep her

little children from
tumbling out of
the nest, for young
birds are often like

young boys and |

girls, heedless of
danger. ;

Charlotte. The - TA\

swift. is undoubt-

edly the fleetest of rn

the swallow tribe.

Ledith. Is it true
that the inventor
of clay houses took
the hint from swal-
lows?

Papa. Ido not
know, Edith. Clay

and other earths.

are used for build-
ing all the world
over, from Ireland
to New Zealand.

THE SWIFT.



What, indeed, is brick but moulded and burnt earth? I ought



















70 Clever Builders. —



to add that the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle, thinks there
-is as much real ingenuity displayed in the building of a swal-
low’s nest as in some of the prodigious and more ambitious
efforts of mankind. :
Charlotte. My namesake, Mrs. Charlotte Smith, remarks: “It
is curious to observe swallows dipping their breasts swiftly into
pools, and then immediately resorting to their nests to temper
the mortar with the moisture.’’ ‘I have frequently seen from
my window,”’ says the Abbé de la Pluche, ‘‘the swallow either
beginning or repairing her-nest, which is a structure entirely _
different from all others. She wants neither wood, nor hay, nor
bands, but knows how to make a kind of plaster, or rather
cement, with which she erects a dwelling equally secure and
convenient for herself and all her family. She has no. vessels
to receive the water she uses, nor a barrow to convey her.sand,
‘nor a shovel to mix her mortar; but I have seen her pass and
repass over the basin in the’ parterre: she raises her wings, and
wets her breast on the surface of the water, after which she
sheds the dew over the dust, and then tempers and works it up
with her bill.”? Goldsmith also says, ‘‘The nest is built with mud
from some neighbouring brook, well tempered with the bill
moistened with water for the better adhesion.”’ The ancient
account of the swallow’s nest, given by Pliny, runs thus:—
“Surely in no one thing is the wit of birds more admirable.
The swallows frame their nests of clay and earth, but they
strengthen and make them fast with straw. In case at any time -

they cannot meet with soft and tough clay, for want thereof - |

they drench and wet their feathers with good-store of water,
and then bestrew them over with dust.” e

















Swallow's Nest. wT







fapa. This is a very
pretty story; but ifwe are Bar
to believe modern writers, 4 a
itis aromance. They say :
that a swallow can never
carry water in its bill or on
its feathers. They contend
that swallows employ a
kind of spittle with which.
they temperand moistenthe
. Clay.
' Lom. Wave you ever
observed that a swallow
will sometimes build against
a perpendicular wall, with-
out any projecting ledge under? It is wonderful how cleverly
the little architect works and plasters the materials against
the brick or stone. He does not go on too fast; he builds
only in the’ morning, spending the rest of the day in flying
and searching for food. It takes him about twelve days to
finish his clay house with a little round door near the top;
outside it is full of knobs, and inside it is not very smooth;
“but inside it is neatly lined with feathers and moss, and
becomes quite a comfortable nursery. :

fL:dith. Yes; but it is sometimes sad to see how a sudden
squall of rain and wind will loosen the hold it has on the wall:
then down comes the little house, and the poor Redeclines are
tumbled on to the ground. .
_ Lom. Sometimes the window-swallow takes to a window in



























Ges |, Swallows and their Nests.





such numbers that he becomes a nuisance. In such cases, if
the wall is well rubbed with oil and soft soap, the builder, cannot



NESTS OF THE CLIFF SWALLOW,

zerland. ‘The swallow,’

Salmonia,”’ ‘“‘is one of
my favourite birds, and a
rival of the nightingale,
for he glads my sense of ~
seeing as much as the
other does my sense of
hearing. He is the joy-
ous prophet of the year,
the harbinger of the best
season * * * winter is
unknown to him, and he
leaves the green mea-
dows of England in au-
tumn for the myrtle

make his plaster stick; so
he tries another place.
Papa. I love the dear
swallow! He comes to
tell us that Nature is
about to put on her beau-
tiful garments, and he
stays with us through the
months of flowers and
fruit. He is almost the
only bird seen in some
parts of mountainous Swit-

says Sir Humphrey Davy, in his



ESCULENT SWALLOW AND NEST.

and orange: Sroves of Italy, and for the palms of Africa.’’













Swallows Preparing for Flight. 73







































i AN ag
SAAT
MANTIS
INET
HTT
Hingis
i









Charlotte. Mr. Pennant says that, for a few days previous to
their departure, they assemble in vast flocks: on house-tops or
churches, from whence they take their flight from England.











10







- Construction of Thrush’s Nest.

«





a

Zom. The Greeks were great admirers of this bird. Thus
sings the cheerful Anacreon:—

“Gentle bird, we find thee here,

When nature wears her summer best;
‘Thou comest to weave thy simple nest ;
And.when the chilling winter. lowers,
Again thou seek’st the genial bowers
Of Memphis or the shores of Nile,
Where sunny hours of verdure smile.”

Papa. The nests of the song-thrush are, if anything, more



into it.

NEST OF SONG-THRUSH,

remarkable than those
of the swallow. The
thrush forms her nest in
the. branches of trees,
on the outside of moss,
and on the inside with
some kind of dust mixed
with some fluid, and ar-

-tificially smooth. When

finished it is like a lining

of dried paste, and when
(| moved the eggs rattle

in it. Some say that
this paste is too light to
be made of clay. Cow-
dung probably enters

The layer is little thicker than writing-paper. The

beauty of the little mason’s work consists in spreading
pellets of dung on basket work of moss and straw. This is
laid on with the spittle of the bird as a cement.



















he

The Nut-hatch a Carpenter.





















NUT-HATCH

-hatch as a mason
A sportsman once caught ore of these

birds. The story is thus told by Loudon, in h

but he

2

We have spoken of the nut

is also a carpenter.

Ladith.

,

remained all night, and the next mornin

was placed in a small cage of oak-wood and wire.
tapping with his beak was the fi

0 Ow
ese
YS oO oO
. O.8
ang
Nh oO
a S
bo oe
@ n
= FCs
TE bp

rst sound I heard, though sleep-

divided from the other by a landing-place.

.

ing. in an apartment

.

















76 Lhe Nut-hatch.

He had food given to him—minced chicken and bread crumbs,
and water. He ate and drank with a most perfect impudence,
and the moment he had satisfied himself, turned again to his
work of battering the frame of his cage, the sound from which,
both in loudness and prolongation of noise, is only to be com-
- pared to the efforts of a fashionable footman upon a fashionable
door in a fashionable square. He had a particular fancy for the
extremities of the corner pillars of the cage; on these he spent
his most elaborate taps, and at this moment, though he has only
occupied the cage a day, the wood is pierced and worn like a
piece of old worm-eaten timber. He probably had an idea that
if these main beams could once be penetrated, the rest of the
superstructure would fall and free him. Against the doorway |
he had also a particular spite, and once succeeded -in opening
it; and when, to interpose a further obstacle, it was tied in a.
double knot with string, the perpetual application of his beak
quickly unloosed it. In ordinary cages a circular hole is left in
the wire for the bird to insert his head to drink from a glass; to
this hole the nut-hatch constantly repaired, not for the purpose
of drinking, but.to try to push out more than his head; but in
vain, for he is a thick bird, and rather heavily built. But the
instant he found the hole too small he would withdraw his head,
and begin to dig and hammer at the circle and where it is |
rooted in the wood, with his pickaxe of a beak, evidently with a
design to enlarge the orifice. His labour was incessant, and he
ate as largely as he worked, and I fear that it was the united
effects of both that killed him. His hammering was peculiarly
laborious, for he did not perch as other birds do, but grasping ~
his hold with his immense feet, he turned upon them as upon



















The MERE | 77





a pivot, and struck with the whole weight of his body, thus
assuming the appearance with his entire form of the head of a
hammer, or, as I have sometimes seen birds on mechanical
clocks, made to strike the hour by swinging on a wheel. We.
were in hopes that when the sun went down he would cease.
from his labours, and rest; but no, at. the interval of every ten
minutes, up to nine or ten o’clock in the night, he resumed his
knocking. An awful flutteting in the cage, now covered with.
a handkerchief, announced that something was wrong: we
. found him at the bottom of his prison with his feathers ruffled,
and nearly all ei back. At length the poor. little fellow
drew his last gasp.” :
Mary. twas a grevious act of cruelty. to imprison such a

bird in a cage.
Papa. Here is another extract from Buffon’s book upon

birds, illustrative of that remarkable carpenter, the wood-
pecker. We must not too hastily suppose that the woodpecker
is an anomaly in the glorious creation of the loving God, as
Buffon appears to think. Depend upon it, the woodpecker has
his share in the distribution of enjoyment; he has admirable
organs to carry out his carpentry work. Why should he not
take as much delight in pecking holes in trees, chiselling bark,
and boring into wood, as we do in higher SccupaHoney At
any rate his life is as pleasant as a coal-miner’s.. charlotte,
suppose you read the passage for us.

Charlotte. ‘Animals constantly engaged in the pursuit of
_prey, urged by want and restrained by apprehensions of danger,
depend for subsistence on the vigour of their own exertions;
and having scarcely time’ to satisfy their immediate desires, they























78 The Woodpecker.





can have no leisure to cherish the benevolent affections. Such
is the solitary condition of all the carnivorous birds, except a
few tribes, which prowl on putrid carrion, and rather combine
like robbers than unite as friends. But of all the birds which
earn their subsistence by spoil, none leads a life so laborious
and so painful as the woodpecker.. Nature has condemned him
to incessant toil and slavery. While others freely employ their ~
courage or address, and either shoot on rapid wing, or lurk in
close ambush, the woodpecker is constrained to drag out an
insipid existence, in boring the bark and hard fibres of trees. to
extract its humble prey. .
Papa. Thank you, Charlotte. But I still think that Butea
is entirely wrong in supposing the woodpecker to be an object
of pity, because he has to work hard for his living. What
would the naturalist say to the squirrel, who always appears to
be one of the happiest of animals, and yet for many months in
the year must find it far more difficult to procure his favourite
food of nuts than the woodpecker his insects?
Tom. The American naturalist, Wilson, who is quite as good:
an authority as Buffon on such matters, quite agrees with you,
Papa. He says, speaking of the gold-winged woodpecker,
“The abject and degraded character which the Count de Buffon,
with equal eloquence and absurdity, has drawn of the whole
’ tribé of woodpeckers, belongs not to the elegant and sprightly
_ bird now before us. He is ot ‘constrained to drag out an
‘insipid existence in boring the bark and hard fibres of trees to
extract his prey,’ for he frequently finds in the loose mouldering
ruins of an old stump (the capital of a nation of pismires) more
than is sufficient for the wants of a whole week. He cannot be

~N













~The Woodpecker. . | 79

said to ‘lead a mean and gloomy life, without an.intermission
of labour,’ who usually feasts by the first peep of dawn, and
spends the early and sweetest hours of morning on the highest
peaks of the tallest trees, calling on his mate or companions, or
pursuing and gamboling with them round the larger limbs and
body of the tree for hours together; for such are ‘really his
habits. “Can it be said that ‘necessity never grants an interval
-of sound repose’ to that bird, who, while other tribes are
exposed to all the peltings of the midnight storm, lodges dry

and secure in a snug chamber of his’own constructing; or that .

‘the narrow circumference of a tree circumscribes his dull round
of life,’ who, as seasons.and inclination inspire, roams from the
frigid to the torrid zone, feasting on the abundance of various
regions? Or is it a proof that ‘his appetite is never softened by
delicacy of taste,’ because he so often varies his. bill of fare,
occasionally preferring to animal food the rich milkiness of
_young Indian corn, and the wholesome and nourishing berries
of the wild cherry, sour gum, and red cedar? Let the reader
turn-to the faithful representation of him given ih our figure,
and say whether his looks be ‘sad and melancholy?’ It is truly —
ridiculous and astonishing that such absurdities should escape
the lips or pen of one so able to do justice to the respective
merits of every species; but Buffon had too often a favourite
theory to prop up, that led him insensibly astray: and -so, for-
sooth, the whole family of woodpeckers must look sad, sour,
and be miserable, to satisfy the caprice of a whimsical philo-
Sone, who takes it into his head that they are, and ought to
be so.’
Mary. Tagree with Wilson duties than with Buffon.





















80 _ The Woodpecker.



Edith. Wilson also
gives a history of a
woodpecker, which
much resembles the
anecdote I have al-
ready told you about
the nut-hatch. ‘In
rambling through the ,.,
woods one day, |;
happened to shoot ;
one of these birds, | .
and wounded him
slightly in the wing. \
Finding him in full
feather, and seeming- .
ly but little hurt, I
took him home, and -
put him into a large
cage, made of willows,
intending to keep him
in my own room, that
we might become
better acquainted. As
soon as he found “
himself inclosed on Pikgje ‘\ :
all sides, he lost no fT oenBN WOODTECKER.” :
time in idle fluttering, but, throwing himself against the bars of
the cage, began instantly to demolish the willows, battering, them
with great vehemence, and uttering a loud piteous kind of cack-





















Ts the Woodpecker Happy ? 81





ling similar to that of ahen when she is alarmed and takes to wing.
Poor Baron Trenck never laboured with more eager diligence at
‘the walls of his prison than this son of the forest in his exertions
for liberty; and he exercised his powerful bill with such force,
digging into the sticks, seizing and shaking them so from side
to side, that he soon opened for himself a passage; and though
I repeatedly repaired the breach, and barricaded every opening
in the best manner I could, yet on my return into the room I
always found him at large, climbing up the chairs. Having
placed him in a strong wire cage, he seemed to give up all hope
of making his escape, and soon became very tame; fed on young
ears of Indian corn: refused apples, but ate the berries of the
sour gum greedily, small winter grapes, and several other kinds
of berries; exercised himself: frequently in climbing, or rather
hopping perpendicularly along the sides of the cage; and as
evening drew on, fixed himself in a high hanging or perpen-
dicular position, and slept with his head on his wing. He was
beginning to become very amusing, and even sociable, when,
after a lapse of several weeks, he became drooping, and died,
as I conceived, from the effects of his wound.”

Mary. What a pity to have shot at such a bird!

Tom. The newspapers have lately told us that the inhabit-
ants of Philadelphia have introduced from England, at consider-
able cost, a colony of common sparrows, to keep down the
redundant insect life, which threatens to destroy all the most
beautiful flowering trees in that city and the neighbourhood.
But it would seem that some provision has been already made
in this direction by that Divine Providence which so wonderfully
maintains the balance of creation. Hear what Wilson says





Il













82 The Downy Woodpecker.





about that energetic carpenter, the downy woodpecker: ‘‘ The
principal characteristics of this little bird, are diligence, famili-
arity, perseverance, and a strength and energy in the head and
muscles of the neck which are truly astonishing. Mounted on
the infected branch of an old apple-tree, where insects have _
lodged their corroding and destructive broods in ‘crevices
between the bark and wood, he labours sometimes for half an
hour incessantly at the same spot before he has succeeded in
dislodging and destroying them. At these times you may walk
up pretty close to the tree, and even stand immediately below
it, within five or six feet of the bird, without in the least
embarrassing him; the strokes of his bill are distinctly heard
several hundred yards off; and I have known him to be at work
for two hours together on the same tree. Buffon calls this
‘incessant toil and slavery;’ his attitude ‘a painful posture ;’
_and his life ‘a dull and insipid existence;’ expressions. im-
proper because untrue, and absurd because contradictory. . The
posture is that for which the whole organization of his frame is
particularly adapted; and though to a wren or a humming-bird
the labour would be both a toil and a slavery, yet to him it is, arn
convinced, as pleasant as the sucking of flowers to the humming-
bird. The eagerness with which he traverses the upper and
lower side of the branches; the cheerfulness of his cry; and the
liveliness of his motions, while digging into the tree and dis-
_ lodging the vermin, justify this belief. About the middle of
May, the male and female look out for a suitable place for the
reception of their eggs and young. An apple, pear, or cherry
tree, often in the near neighbourhood of the farm-house, is’
generally pitched upon for this purpose. The tree is minutely















The die of Creation. 83





reconnoitred for several days previous to the operation, and the
work is first begun by the male, who cuts out a hole in the solid
wood, as circular as if described with a pair of compasses. He
is occasionally relieved by the female, both parties working with
the most indefatigable diligence. The direction of the hole, it |
made in the body of the tree, is generally downwards, by an’
angle of thirty or forty degrees, for the distance of six or eight
inches, and then straight down for ten or twelve more; within
_ roomy, capacious, and as smooth as if polished by the cabinet-
maker: but the entrance is judiciously left just so large as to
_ admit the body of the owner. During this labour they regularly
carry out the chips, often strewing them at a distance, to prevent
suspicion. This operation sometimes occupies the chief part of
aweek. The female, before she begins to lay, often visits the
place, passes out and in, examines every part, both of the
exterior and interior, with great attention, as every prudent
tenant of a new house ought to do, and at length takes complete
possession. The eggs are generally six, pure white, and laid
_ on the smooth bottom of the cavity.”’

Papa. There seems to be something sorrowful; and the type
of bitter melancholy, in the decay of some species of birds, and
their entire removal from the haunts they once favoured. The
dodo has gone for ever, and it is now with some naturalists a
matter of doubt whether it ever existed. Eagles were once very
common on the mountains of England and Scotland. The beau-
tiful swans have disappeared from the waters of the Mincio and
the marshes of Mantua. “In vain,’ says Michelet, “the:
traveller would seek for the snow-white flotillas which once

covered the Italian lakes with their sails.’ The heron, in the



















84 , Antediluvrian Birds. «





Middle Ages, was fallen from the high estate which he held in
‘Greece;-and when his knowledge of the weather was thought to
surpass that-of the gravest augurs ; but still he kept his beauty
and his heavenward flight. He was still a prince, a feudal bird.
Now he has virtually lost two kingdoms: France, where he only .
appears as a migratory visitor, and England, where his mate
reluctantly deposits her eggs. It is said that there is now but
one heronry in all France. A wood between Rheims and .
Epernay conceals the last asylum where the poor nenely bird
mourns his misfortunes and hides his loves.

Zom. By-the-by, we do not give sufficient eae to. the
work of birds in the preparation of our globe ‘for the. habitation —
of man. We know that there were once floundering in the vast
mud-banks and shallows of the earth grim slimy monsters of
the crocodile kind. .These could only live for the most part and
crawl half imbedded in the earth. But there flourished at the
the same time mighty birds that seemed equally at home in
three elements. They paddled in the waters; they flew aloft
into the air; and they walked the earth. The monsters of the -
deep could not follow them, whilst they seem to have hunted the
others without mercy. They caused them to perish from the face
of creation, and then they gradually disappeared themselves.

Ldith. When some time ago I travelled in Egypt, I found
that all kinds of birds were protected and loved by the inhabit-
ants. They seemed to have none of that dread of man which
characterises so many of the feathered tribes in England. -The
country fellah has birds everywhere about him. If it were not
for the beneficent chemistry of these multitudinous scavengers,
the plague of frogs, flies, and the death of the first-born, would











Full Text



















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OUR FEATHERED COMPANIONS.
















OUR

on thered C. ompanions, |

OR,

CONVERSATIONS OF A FATHER WITH HIS CHILDREN ABOUT SEA-BIRDS,
SONG-BIRDS, AND OTHER FEATHERED TRIBES THAT LIVE
IN OR VISIT THE BRITISH ISLES, THEIR HABITS, &c.



By tHe Rev. THOMAS JACKSON, M.A,

PREBENDARY OF ST. PAUL’S, AND RECTOR OF STOKE NEWINGTON.

Author of “ Our Dumb Companions,” “ Our Dunb Neighbours” &¢., &¢.

Lonpon: S. W. PARTRIDGE & CO.; 9, PATERNOSTER Row.
New York: Messrs. ROUTLEDGE & CO.

[AW Rights reserved.)


Zo the Right Reverend

LORD BISHOP OF GLOUCESTER

AND BRISTOL,

Vice-President of the Royal Soctety for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animats,

WHOSE LABOURS IN PROMOTING A HUMANE
EDUCATION HAVE SECURED FOR HIM
THE BEART-FELT THANKS
OF THOUSANDS, -

THIS VOLUME IS CORDIALLY

DEDICATED.






g DQ
SED KK

WATSON AND HAZELL,




PRINTERS, '
LONDON AND AYLESBURY,

Tae /

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HIS volume forms the third of a series of popular works, of which
that entitled “Our DumB COMPANIONS” was the first. It is
designed, not to convey scientific information upon natural history,
but to interest children and young persons in the habits of the various




















feathered tribes which reside in, or visit, this country; and thus, by

teaching lessons of kindness, to promote the better treatment of every

variety cf the animal creation. The wanton and cruel destruction of
sea-birds on the coasts of England and Scotland, especially those
which are frequented by thoughtless and vulgar tourists from our

great towns, has lately excited universaiindignation. But the claim

of unoffending creatures of all kinds to gentle usage will never

be recognised, until it is everywhere promoted by enlightened public

opinion. The prevalence of such opinion cannot be obtained by Acts

of the legislature, or by the spasmodic efforts of enthusiastic humani-

tarians. It must be ingrained into the popular mind by carly

tranig. For this purpose, books must be provided which may

become suggestive helps in school and horre lessons on the subject,

and which may be given as prizes in institutions of primary or

secondary instruction. It is with this object that the present volume

has been compiled, and the writer humbly commends it to the blessing

of the living and rewarding God, and to the generous patronage of
that large and increasing body in every part of the civilized world

—THE FRIENDS OF THE BRUTE CREATION,

The Rectory,
Stoke Newington,

August, 1870.










































































CONTENTS,

CONVERSATION I.—AT THE SEA-SIDE AGAIN—SEA-BIRDS ONE OF THE CHARMS

OF THE SEA—USE OF SEA-GULLS--SOUTHEY’S ‘INCHCAPE ROCK”—-SEA-BIRDS
DESERVE PROTECTION—WILLOUGHBY’S REMARKS ON GULLS—PETRELS—SEA-
SWALLOWS—THE ALBATROSS—WHAT COLERIDGE SAYS ABOUT IT IN ‘‘THE
ANCIENT MARINER”—SEA-BIRDS . EXCELLENT SCAVENGERS—REMARKABLE
COLONIES OF GULLS—THE GULLERY AT NORBURY—SOME STRANGE FACTS
ABOUT SEA-BIRDS—THE FLAMBOROUGH-PILOTS—SCHOOLMASTERS SHOULD BE
WON OVER TO TEACH KINDNESS TO BIRDS—VALUE OF SINGING TO THIS END
—‘A LITTLE GIRL TO THE SEA-BIRDS”” (MUSIC)—‘' THE SEA-BIRDS’ REPLY,”

BY THE -REV. R. WILTON . . .

PAGE,









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Vi CONTENTS.





CONVERSATION IJ.—THE COMMON GUILLEMOT—PENGUINS—LONDON BIRDS—
THE PLOVER—VARIETIES OF—THE SANDERLING—THE OYSTER-CATCHER—THE
CREAM-COLOURED COURSER—LAPWINGS—CRANES—TURNSTONES—THE HOOPING~
CRANE—THE EGRET HERON—HABITS OF THE HERON—-THE COW HERON—
BITTERNS—STORKS—THE SPOONBILL—MR. LOWE’S TAX ON FIRE-ARMS—
DEMOISELLE AND CROWNED CRANES-—-THE WOODCOCK—SNIPE—JUDCOCK—

THE RUFF—VARIETIES OF SAND-PIPERS—THE BITTERN—VALUE OF SEA-BIRDS

CONVERSATION JII.—MECHANICAL SKILL OF BIRDS—THE STORMY PETREL—
PUFFINS -THE KAKOPO—JACKDAWS—-MOTHERLY AFFECTION OF THE EIDER
DUCK—THE NUT-HATCH—THE SWIFT—THE SWALLOW A CLEVER BUILDER—
CONSTRUCTION OF THRUSH’S NEST—THE NUT-HATCH A CARPENTER—THE
WOODPECKER—BUFFON AND WILSON ON WOODPECKERS—IS THE WOODPECKER
HAPPY?—THE DOWNY WOODPECKER—DECAY OF SOME SPECIES OF BIRDS—
ANTEDILUVIAN MONSTERS—BIRDS PROTECTED IN EGYPT—THE EAGLE—
BASKET-MAKING BIRDS—GOLDSMITH ON ROOKS—THE GOLDFINCH A NEAT
FELTER—HUMMING-BIRDS—THE KITE—VARIETIES OF OWLS— BIRDS, POETS,
AND PAINTERS—SWALLOWS AND SPARROWS—SPARROWS USEFUL TO THE
FARMER— “‘ SPARROW CLUBS” DENOUNCED—MR. WOOD’S TESTIMONY TO THE

VALUE OF SPARROWS—THE TREE SPARROW .

CONVERSATION IV.—our SONG-BIRDS—VARIETIES OF THRUSHES—THE GOLDEN
ORIOLE—THE WHIN-CHAT—THE STONE-CHAT—THE ROBIN—THE ceperie =
‘THE NIGHTINGALE AND LARK—THOMSON’S LINES ON THE NIGHTINGALE
THE DOVE—EXTRACTS FROM THE POET BROWNING—THE WINGS OF BIRDS—
POWER OF BIRD-SONG—WHY DO BIRDS SING?—TENNYSON AND THE BLACK-~

BIRD—MACGILLIVRAY ON THE BLACKBIRD “.

PAGE.

33

63

107












CONTENTS. Vii





PAGE.
CONVERSATION V.—TALKING BIRDS—THE WHEAT-EAR—THE CUCKOO—PARROTS

——PARAKEETS—MR. BRODERIP ON PARROTS—-LOVE-BIRDS—TURKEYS—APOLOGY
FOR THE ‘* POULTRY MANIA”—COCKS AND HENS—ENERGETIC CONDUCT OF
-MR. COLAM—CRUELTY TO ANIMALS sO NOT PAY—PHEASANTS AND
PARTRIDGES—THE SWAN—-ADVENTURE OF ONE WITH A FOX—-FOWLS SHOULD
BE TREATED WITH KINDNESS—THE ‘‘ BARN-DOOR” FOWL—CARRIER PIGEONS

- —CLOSE_OF THE CONVERSATIONS—LESSONS TO BE DEDUCED . . 7 127












































ARTIST. PAGE,





SUBJECT.

GROUP OF SEA-BIRDS : - - - _ Harrison Weir - . 8

THE CRAB ROCK, NEAR FLAMBOROUGH HEAD - R. Barnes - 32
PENGUINS - - - - - - R. Kretschmer | - “36
SAND-MARTINS - - - Bs - flarvison Weir - 64
WOODPECKERS - oa te - - R. Kretschmer : 78

2 ROOKS — : - - - - - Llarrison Weir - 92
i SPARROW - - - - - - flarvison Weir - 104
THRUSH - - - - - - flarrison Weir - 108
ROBIN - - - - - - Harrison Weir - 1i2
NIGHTINGALE - - - - - - Harrison Weir - 116

LARK - - 2. - - - - Harrison Weir - 122
BLACKBIRDS ~- - - - - - Harrison Weir - 126

|| LovE-BIRD AND MIRROR - - - - Harrison Weir 5 132
POULTRY - - - - - - Harrison Weir - 136
SWANS - : = 7 7 - Harrison Weir - 142




















OUR FEATHERED COMPANIONS.






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CONVERSATION L..

Papa. Here we are again at the sea-side!
What a delicious thing it is to exchange the
J . ‘
NSE Scenery of a long and dirt-coloured brick

ee street, looking like an immense wall with
square holes in it, for the shore of the ever-sounding sea!




















2 One of the Charms of the Sea.





Tom. J think that phrase, ‘‘the shore of the ever-sounding

2?

sea,’’ pronounced slowly, echoes the sense of the words as





























































































































delicately as Homer’s celebrated line ending with
. TloAv@Aoisbo10 Sadacone.

Mary. To me one of the charms of the sea is derived from |
the many beautiful birds that one beholds flitting about in all
directions. I suppose that the wise and loving providence which














Use of Sea Gulls. : 3





made and governs the world, has never created anything without
some use, but I confess I cannot clearly understand the special
claims of sea-birds to our protection.























































































































Lidith. 1 am surprised at that, Mary; they may not be so
attractive to a lover of melodious musical sounds as the canary”
or the nightingale, but I question if they are not more really






















4 Southey’s ‘* Inchcape Rock.’





valuable. In the islands off the coasts of Ireland and Scotland
the poor peasants and fishermen maintain themselves for a
considerable part of the year on the eggs of these birds, and
sometimes on the fowls themselves. At Saint Kilda _they have
been so used for upwards of two hundred years.

Charlotte. Besides they are of use to the sailor in mists and
fogs. This state of the weather is more dangerous even than
a wild gale of wind. The mariner cannot tell which way he is
going. He may hear the roar of breakers, and suspect that he
is hurrying headlong to destruction. At such times-the cry
of the sea-birds will often help him.

Freddie. 1n Southey’s poetical works, is’a wild jeg called
“The Inchcape Rock.’ It appears that there was a tradition
among old Scotch people concerning this great hidden tock,
situated twelve miles from all land, in the German ocean, and
deadly to sailors because overflowed every tide. Now, hundreds
of years ago, long before the grand lighthouse was built, a bell
was fixed upon a raft of timber, and moored upon the rock.
The bell kept ringing as the waves rose and fell, and thus the
mariner was warned, especially in misty weather. One day
there came a wicked pirate, Ralph the Rover, and to annoy
the Abbot of Aberbrothok, who maintained the bell, he sank
bell and raft in the sea. He afterwards lost his ship and life
on the rock for want of the bell. Surely the sea-birds are like
the good Abbot ; and the destroyers of these beautiful creatures
may be compared to the wicked pirate.

Papa. There is another point of view in which gulls and
mews are useful. They feed upon young and weak fishes such
as are not likely to come to full growth, so that the fisherman
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































ae
The Sea-birds Home. 5
— — Se ~ = my = :

THE SEA-BIRDS’ HOME.


















6 _ An Important Fact. ,































































































































































































































































































































































knows where to find a shoal of herrings or mackerel by the num-_
ber of gulls that hover over the spot. If there were no gulls,
many a vast shoal of these valuable fishes would escape notice.
This is an important fact in a time when all kinds of food are
getting dearer and dearer, and when so many of our poorer
neighbours can hardly obtain enough to eat.














Sea-birds worthy of Protection. 7

























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Mary. In more ways than one, then, these sea-birds are the
friends of man, and have a claim on his protection.

Jom. The more we understand of the habits and uses of
these birds the more shall we be led to admire the wisdom and
mercy of their great Creator.
















8 Willoughby s Remarks on Gulls.



Charlotte. What a sieneetal variety there is in the world of
animal life! I find that there are many sorts of sea-birds which
have attracted the attention of naturalists. I scarcely like to

say how many kinds of gulls there are. Willoughby, in his _

‘Ornithology,’ that is, his kook about birds, says ‘“‘Gulls are a
whole-footed fowl with an indifferent long, narrow, sharp-pointed
Lill, a little crooked at the end, oblong nostrils, long and strong
wings, short legs, small feet—for they do not swim much —a light
body, but clothed with many and thick-set feathers, a carrion
carcase, the fat, that is, sticking to the skin, as in other birds,
much upon the wing; very noisy, hungry, and fond of fish.
These are divided into two kinds, first the greater, which have
- tails composed of feathers of equal length, and an angular pro-
minency or knob on the lower chap of the bill underneath to
strengthen it, that they may more strongly hold fishes. Second,
the lesser, which have a forked tail and no knob on oe bill,’”’ or,
as he adds in a marginal note, ‘‘but a very small one.’ ‘ Both
kinds may Le divided into pied or parti-coloured, and the grey
or brown.”’

Mary. UHere is one of Mr. Weir’s life-like pictures ‘of sea-
birds. Some scarce escaped from the egg, and some grand
old ladies and gentlemen, which look as if long voyages were
natural to them. Mark the adaptation of their shape to [the
habits of their lives, and the modes by which they get their
living. They have sometimes been tamed, but they are not
companionable. They are apt to bite children: One fought
with a cat for a mouse, and managed to swallow it whole.

Lapa. Ido not know how many varieties there are of sea-
birds that either fiy or walk the water. Take for instance those
















































































































































i





page 8,

SEA BIRDS.








The Stormy Petrel.







a
7

7

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comical birds called the petrels, which employ their feet in their
own element as if they were on land, walking on the surface of











Then

the waves as a man might upon a water velocipede.










10 . Sea-swallows.





.there are the sea-swallows, with their strong and expansive

wings, by the help of which they cross over immeasurable tracts



































































































































































SEA-SWALLOWS.

of the ocean in search of their food, reposing in the air as on a
pillow of down, and seldom having recourse to their powers of
swimming. Then there are the groups that swim and dive, and
appear never to take the wing if they can possibly help it.

Then again there are others that seldom swim except when
forced, and never dive. Watching their gambols from the
shore, who does not feel the truth of the sublime aspiration,
‘““O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou
made them all.’”’ Or, as Bishop Horsley translates the passage,

“© Jehovah ! how great and various. are Thy works, in wisdom.
Thou hast made them all: the whole contents of the earth is
Thy property. This sea, so vast and wide on every side!

There are moving things without number; animals, the small
with the great !”’


















The Albatross, or Cape Sheep. Gi





_ £dith. Last, year, you know, I came from Sydney, in New ©
South Wales, to London. When we were in the great Southern
Ocean, hundreds of miles from land, we saw several enormous
birds which sailors call the albatross. Sometimes it is called
the Cape sheep, because in.colour and size it is not unlike a
sheep. It is a wonderful bird. Its yéllow beak is hooked, so
that if you throw.over a piece of pork at the.end of a string from
the ship’s deck, with a hook at the end, you may haul the cap-
tive on board without hurting him. We caught one which
measured fourteen feet and more between the tips of his wings.
The ship was sometimes becalmed, and when we threw over the
pork at the end of the long string, it was most interesting to see
how half-a-dozen albatrosses would come wheeling round it in
smaller and smaller circles. Their eyes are on the side of their
head, so they seem to look at the pork with only one at a time.
All this while they had no legs to be seen ; nothing but unbroken.
plumage of snowy whiteness. When they had determined to
snatch at the bait, they dropped out and showed two webbed
feet of a deep flesh colour.

- fapa. Dr. Arnott, in his “ Biysies: ’ remarks how powerful
must be the wing muscles of birds which sustain themselves in
the sky for hours ieperher ‘The great albatross, with wings
extending fourteen feet or more, is seen in the stormy. solitude
of the Southern Ocean accompanying ships for whole days with-
out ever resting on the waves.

Lidith. If the propensities and habits of sea-birds are a lesson
and parable to men, I should say that the albatross shows us
how detestable is the vice of greediness, and how swift the
punishment that often follows it. One day some seamen in the


















12 | ang T, he Albatross.





Southern Ocean caught a whale. They brought it alongside
their vessel, and began to cut it up in order to stow away the
oil, whalebone, and other valuable parts of the animal. While
they were thus employed, a great number of albatrosses, snuffing
the strong odour of the carcass from afar, gathered round the
ship, and gorged themselves to such a degree that they lay
helpless on the waves, unable to rise, and scarcely to move.
When the vessel set her sails and started again on her voyage
they were submerged, stupefied, inanimate, and the ship left
behind a trail of dead albatrosses, suffocated by being dragged
along under the vessel and utterly unable to extricate themselves.

Papa. Captain Cook, the great Yorkshire navigator, who no
doubt had often studied gulls off the coast of Whitby and Flam-
borough Head, informs us that though the albatross is the largest
sea-bird, and remarkable for its strength, it never ventures to
attack other sea-birds; but that, on the contrary, the large
grey gulls of the ocean like to have a peck atan albatross, just’
as a needy scamp tries to rob a respectable old gentleman.
The gulls endeavour to attack the albatross under the belly,
that part being the least capable of defence. But the albatross —
is more than a match for his assailants, for he instantly drops
into the water, dips his body under, and in turn attacks them
with his formidable beak and wings.

Mary. Uhope you will not think me gluttonous, like this bird,
if I ask you whether or not he is good to eat?

Papa. His flesh is dry and tough, and nobody would eat him
if he could. get anything else. The Kamtschadales, I telieve,
take him for the sake of his entrails, which they blow, and use as
buoys for their nets.










The Albatross. | 13





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































a,
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THE ALBATROSS.

Tom, Old sailors used to consider that the albatross was a


















14 Coleridge's ‘* Ancient Mariner.”





bird of good omen, and that it would often show the way to a
ship out of floating ice and snow fog. Coleridge has made this
tradition the theme of his wild poem called ‘The Ancient
Mariner.’’ Let me quote two or three verses :—

At length did cross an albatross,
Tho’ rough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name.

It ate the food it ne’er had eat,
And round and round it flew.

The ice did split with a thunder-fit ;
The helmsman steered us through !

And a good south wind sprung up behind ;
The albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner’s hollo !

_ In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine ;
Whiles all the night, through fog- eke: white,
Glimmered the white moonshine.

“God save thee, ancient mariner !
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!
Why look’st thou so?” ‘*.With my cross-bow,
I shot the albatross !

' “The sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.

“ And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,

Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariner’s hollo!














Sea-birds excellent Scavengers. 15

“ And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work ’em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
‘Ah, wretch’! said they, ‘the bird to slay,
_ That made the breeze to blow !’”

Mary. . People living on the coast give a great many
different names to the varieties of sea-birds. Some they call
mews, some séa-cobs ; then there are the petrels, puffins, terns,
and sea-skimmers: In some places terns are called sea-swallows.
Then there are the noddies, generally supposed to be very
stupid. . Waudin, in the French language, means a fool.

Tom. Among other important uses of sea-birds, let us not
forget that they are excellent scavengers. Animal matter on
the sea coast, in a putrid state, is very dangerous to human
health. The salt of the sea intensifies the putrefaction, and
Base escape into the air which produce terrible fevers. Now
‘he sea-birds devour putrid fish with great zest and voracity; if
I may so speak, they seem to prefer the flavour of it. They are
thus useful scavengers. Then again, it is well known that their
ordure forms a most valuable manure. In fact, hundreds of
ships are chartered yearly to the Chincha Islands, and other
spots where deposits of this dung are found. These deposits in
some places, Iam told, are enormously thick, as though the sea-
birds had gone there for thousands of years to leave behind
them that which would contribute to enrich the soil, and thus
to promote the well-being and comfort of man. Our farmers
have been great gainers by the smpOststion of guano into this
country.

Mary. Surely we must account those animals well worth
















16 3s er Worms Head.

our notice which, in the ordér of God’s wonderful providence,
make ¢wo ears of corn to grow where, without their assistance,

there would only have been one.

Edith. This seems to be part of what, if I eleries rightly,
the ancient Greeks used to call, the mysterious dance. of ie and

death, of renovation and decay.















































THE WORM’S ITEAD, GLAMORGANSHIRE.

Papa. 1 find that some gulls build their nests on ledges of

rocks near the sea like the Worm’s Head,

in South Wales;














Remarkable Colony of Gulls. 17

others find a low and. retired spot, such as a Dutch polder, or a
meadow in the neighbourhood of an estuary. |

Mary. One of the most remarkable colonies of gulls is near °
the South Stack Lighthouse, at Holyhead, in North Wales,



































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































STACK ROCKS, HOLYHEAD,

where, I am glad to say, they a are protected on account of
the great s@rvices they render to sailors.

Yom. ButIam sorry to add that on Puffin Island, and also on







Ge














18 Puffin, or Sea Parrot.





the Anglesea coast, the birds which gave their name to the

rock are almost extinct. é
L£idith. What a curious beak the Puffin has!

















































































































































































































































































































































































_ Papa. This bird is often called the Sra Parrot, or Colter-
-neb, from its peculiar beak. But I have something- more to
say about the gulls. Their eggs vary very much, but
















Colonies of Gulls in Lancashire. 19





generally they are of a deepish olive tint, sprinkled with
large brown ‘and blackish spots. The eggs of some kinds
are pleasant to the taste. They are free from fishy flavour;
when boiled hard they will keep a long time. Speaking
‘of these birds’ eggs, there is in the neighbourhood of
Garstang an island called Sea Gull Island, Pilling Moss. This
moss is about a mile from Stalmine, in the Fylde, and is a wild |
Lancashire tract of peat. About June thousands -upon
thousands of sea gulls darken the air. The singular scene
attracts a few visitors, but the spot is not much known. The
island is two’or three acres in extent, and is the most extra-
ordinary breeding ground of the kind in the kingdom. In the
breeding season there are from ten thousand to twelve thousand
nests upon it. They are sometimes placed so close together that
~ a foot can scarcely be put down between them. Generally they
are from twelve to eighteen inches apart.. In most of them
there are three eggs, in others four. The gulls formerly bred
on Walney Island, off the southern extremity of Furness, but :
being disturbed there, they migrated to Pilling Moss about 1840,

and have ever since been protected by the Reverend Dr. John
Gardner and Mr. Henry Gardner, the owners of the land;

and keepers are employed for that purpose. These gulls | are of
the variety known to naturalists as Larus Ridibundus. There
is a smaller colony on Winniarley Moss, said to be the property
of Colonel Wilson-Patten. In June, 1869, before the new Act
for protecting sea-birds came into Operation, some men were
caught and fined for trespass on the Sea-gull Island, they
having taken a vast number of gulls’ eggs. Forty men had
gone the night before, armed with bludgeons, and supplied with
















20 Gulls once Eaten as Dainties.







large baskets to plunder the nests; and what do you think the ~
former do with the eggs? It is said, which I should hardly
have supposed, that they give them as food to their horses.

Tom. I have read that the young of some varieties of gulls,
three hundred years ago, were considered a ae dainty in
this country.
- Edith. Yes. What should we think now if the cook at some
‘splendid dinner at the Trois Freres Provencaux, in Paris, or the
Albion Tavern, in Aldersgate-street, London, should put down
“See gulles’”? as among the delicacies of the high table ?
Yet we read in the household book of the fifth Earl of Northum-
berland, begun about 1450, that these birds formed a part of
every festival, and cost a penny or three half-pence apiece.

Charlotte. Y have heard that great proprietors used to
encourage colonies of these birds, called. gulleries, where
they resorted when they had put on their bridal plumage, and
where numbers were annually reared and fattened for the

table. So that a good gullery sometimes produced from fifty _
to eighty pounds a-year.

Tom. Willoughby informs us ‘that i in his time the price was
* higher than one-penny or three-halfpence. He tells us of a
colony of these birds which yearly built_and bred at Norbury,
in Staffordshire, in an island in the middle of a great pool, in -
the grounds of Mr. Scrimshew, distant at least thirty miles
from the sea. ‘About the beginning of March hither they
come; about the end of April they build. They lay three,
four, or five eggs, of a dirty green colour, spotted with dark
brown, two inches long, of an ounce-and-a-half weight, blunter
at one end. The first down of the young is ash-coloured, and
















The Gullery at Norbury. 21











































EK IGElEd Lee fy



Se

spotted with black; the first feathers on the back, after they are
fledged, are black. When the young are almost come to their
full growth, those entrusted by the lord of the soil drive.them
from off-the island through the pool into nets set on the banks














22 Strange and Marvellous Facts.





to take them. When they have taken them, they feed them.
with the entrails of beasts, and when they are fat sell them for .
fourpence or fivepence apiece. They yearly ‘take about a
thousand two hundred young ones; whence may be computed
what profit the lord makes of them. About the end of July
they all fly away, and leave the island.” ,
Charlotte. Dr. Plott, in his History of Staffordshire, adds a
still more strange and marvellous fact concerning the birds that
bred in Peewhit Pool, in the parish of Norbury: that they would
not condescend to breed on any other land than that of the
proprietor of the place. The old Doctor adds that, on the death
of the owner, they deserted the pool for three years, but only
retired to another estate belonging to the next heir.

Papa. In my opinion this is nothing but some absurd tale,
told by a cunning game-keeper to a credulous naturalist.

Tom. Yes; but we mist not reject stories in natural history
merely because they are strange and marvellous. The whims,
if one may so speak, of animals, especially i in places where there
is death, are often utterly incomprehensible. Witness the well-
authenticated story of those Yorkshire bees, who deserted their —
hives to a bee unless they shared the funeral feast, and had
sugar and water placed plentifully at the mouth of their hives
on the day of the funeral.

Edith. 1 don’t believe that story any more than Dr. Plott’s!

Papa. Nothing is more curious, in regard to animals of all
kinds, than the strange consciousness which they often have of
death. The ingenuity which they manifest in seeking to preserve
their lives, and the manner in which they will sometimes feign
death in order to avoid it, involve questions relative to the










Mr. W.R. BRAUNER
Bio N. HANOVER sr.
CLARLICLE. PA,





The Flamborough Pilots. . * 33





nature and limits of instinct and reason, which never have been,
and perhaps never will be, satisfactorily explained in this world. ©

fdith. .We are forgetting one great object of our conversa-
tions as to how we can prevent the fearful destruction of the
sea-birds. With your permission I will read good Mr. Wilton’s
verses, which, by appearing in the Zzmes, did much to sup-
port Mr. Sykes in his efforts to get an Act of Parliament for the
protection of the sea-birds during the breeding season (1 870).
Here they are :— :

THE FLAMBOROUGH PILOTS. -

The lights revolve—now white, now red—
In vain; no warning ray is shed
From mist-enfolded Flamborough Head.

In vain the gun booms on the shore-——-
No warning sound is wafted o’er
The waves that to the darkness roar.

To straining eye and list’ning ear,
In heaven or earth, no signs appear
Whereby bewildered bark may steer.

But suddenly a voice is heard—
The wailing note of wild sea-bird,—
And all the sailor’s heart is stirred.

“The Flamborough Pilots!” is his cry,
. “Beware, beware, thé rocks are nigh!
Turn the ship’s head, and seaward fly.”

Blest birds! kind white-winged pilots!—hark!
Like angels call they through the dark—
Like angels save that helpless bark!

% % % % %




















24

The Flamborough Pilots.



’Tis morn—the mists are rolled away---
The beacon-lights are quenched in day;
And boats come stealing round the bay.

The rocks with deadly echoes ring
With rifles that destruction bring
To angel-voice and angel-wing.

Oh, cruel sound! oh, piteous sight!
The gentle pilots of the night
Are MURDERED with the morning light!.

And, lo! for lack of warning call,
Ships lost beneath that white. sea-wall,
- Where now the ‘Flamborough Pilots” fall.
































Sea-bivds and Sailors. 25

_ Charlotte 1 trust that those touching lines will have an
extensive mission of usefulness amongst the rising generation.
If every thoughtless excursionist, who for mere amusement
shoots the sea-birds, would but ¢h’nk-of. the injury that he is



















































































































































































































KINGSGATE, NEAR MARGATE.

perhaps doing to our sailors he would soon put down his ‘gun.

Lapa. Some time ago I saw a wreck at Kingsgate, near
Margate. During the previous night the ship got on the rocks,
and all hands werished: In the morning I saw a solitary bird:
















26. - School-teachers to be interested.

fly over the wreck, and it seemed to say to me, ‘“‘ Such losses of
life and property woud often be prevented if men mous protect
instead of shooting us.’

Edith. Would it not be a wise plan to promote much more

extensively amongst the children in our day schools the principles
of humanity to these birds ?

Papa. 1 recently attended a most delightful conversazione of
school-teachers, at the Institution Buildings, 105, Jermyn Street,
belonging to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, at which the Earl of Harrowby,. Dr. Ellicott, the
good Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, the Rector of Stoke
Newington, the Editor of the British Workman, Mr. Davidson,
and others took part. One pleasing result of the meeting was
the offering of 100 prizes for the best Essays on ‘‘ Humanity
to Animals,’ to be competed for by the scholars in the London
schools, the prizes to be distributed, by Lord PATTONDY, at the
annual meeting in May, 1870.

Tom. That is a good plan. If such prizes were given by
the gentry in every parish in the land, we should soon see a
difference in the treatment not only of dzrds but of beasts.

Charlotte. Miss Burdett-Coutts has set an example in
this respect. Her letter to schoolmasters has, I believe, done
incalculable good. ~

Papa. Perhaps one of the most effective organs for helping
on this cause is the monthly publication, Zhe Animal World. It

is most admirably conducted. The illustrations are by first~

class artists, and many of the articles are, 1 am glad to
state, extensively used by schoolmasters and governesses as
- Reading Lessons.”
















Value of Singing. 27





Edith. In my opinion we ought to strive and enlist the influ-
-ence of music and singing in this cause much more than we
have hitherto done. If such verses as, ‘A Little Girl to the
Sea-birds’”’ and “‘ The Seabird’s Reply,”’ by the Rev. Richard
Wilton, of Londesborough Rectory, were occasionally sung in
every family and school we ‘should soon see more practical
humanity than at present.

_ Papa. (am glad to learn that Mr. Curwen, the promoter
of the tonic sol-fa system, has introduced some admirable
pieces on kindness to animals into his Educational Poems, which
are doing good service, not only in schools but in many private
families. I rejoice that the influence of music is thus being
enlisted on behalf of humanity to, thé? dumb creation. On a
fob recent occasion
when the chil-
dren of many
@, schools for the
‘poor were as-
sembled at the
anniversary meeting of the Royal Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
in St. James’s Hall, twelve hundred voices
sang, with great sweetness and power, a
hymn compiled for the occasion. I can
imagine. a small party practising for this
demonstration, something in the manner
which our clever artist has here depicted.
ee Some of the children may be plain-featured,
ve but they seem to be warbling like nightingales.

















28 Musical Composers.



Charlotte. If the attention of musical composers was specially
called to this question, I think that many of them who have
tender sympathies would gladly aid the cause of the dumb. .























ROSS’S ROSY GULL.

Papa. Swppose, my daughter, that you now favour us with
the words and the music of “ A Little Girl to the Sea-birds.”” I
think that the music is by Mr. T. Crampton, an apt composer
of children’s tunes. _






































uN



es = LN > eee
eS = = Z2 2 ay

case sea- ats ! how ie ho-ver O’eryonhead-land’s

Chie re | oF tle Peel

GS Sas spe he ee ah JN si ce
= oat oar ES EE SS fas I
= x 5 o- =e = a a — ei 23 = \—-F oa















































3 <$- e e eo of g

predic y crest ; And their tend-er nest-lings co - ver With warm wing and

f : r= ze bs: site poe Ft
€ tee poe eg ee

















$3 oe =P ise et ee ea ely all
“a Sete =a Fe faa aS se = =5 =a

Gee y breast. pee sea-birds ! glid-ing, glancing, Thro’ the live-long

eS
-# a4 F-SS 7
Perlite esy eg Seg fae!













































a
=— eo 3 o oe
summer ee sie the merry wavesare nee In the ees and sun -ny oe
-0F. IN
er -@ eons career era
ee feet aS
’ i .



t ae @












_ 30 A Little Girl to the Sea-birds.









A LITTLE GIRL TO THE SEA-BIRDS.

Harry sea-birds! how they hover
O’er yon headland’s breezy crest,

And their tender nestlings cover
With warm wing and downy breast.

Happy sea-birds! gliding, glancing,
Through the livelong summer day, -

Where the merry waves are dancing
In the broad and sunny bay.

Lovely birds ! with graceful motion .-
Giving life to rock and sand, ,
Adding beauty to the ocean,
Adding beauty to the strand.

How the eye delights to follow
Where they circle o’er the deep,

Or with swiftness of the swallow
O’er the glassy waters. sweep. —

Useful sea-birds! screaming loudly
Through the dark and stormy night,

When the billows thunder proudly,
And the beacons shed no light.

How the mariner rejoices
When he hears their timely cry,
How he thanks the thousand voices
Warning him of danger nigh.

Happy, useful, and so pretty,
I will always be their friend ;
I will show the sea-birds pity,
And their harmless lives defend.










.

_ The Sea-bird’s Reply.

31







_ Not that I may wear a feather
- Shall the gentle sea-birds die,
While, exposed to wind and weather,
Their poor nestlings famished lie.

Not about my hat or bonnet
Shall a sea-bird’s wing be bound,
Lest the spot of blood upon it
Weigh my spirit to the ground.

Not for me one feathered pilot

. Shall be slaughtered any more,

Lest on misty cape or islet
Helpless ships be cast ashore.

I will love them for their beauty
As they float on wind or wave;

I will guard them as a duty
That I owe to sailors brave.

I will be their friend much rather
For His sake who made us all,

Our Almighty; loving Father
Who beholds one sea-bird fall !

RicHarD Witton, M.A.

THE SEA-BIRDS’ REPLY.

How we thank you, gentle maiden,
For your self-denying love ;

May your happy days be laden
With all blessings from above!

We will always love you dearly,
Little girl, where’er you be,






















32 The Sea-birds Reply.

Anda hearty welcome yearly
We will give you to the sea.

Sunny skies and pleasant weather
Let us hope kind heaven will send:
By her hat without a feather
We shall know our little friend ;

By her amiable features, .
By her goodness and her grace,

By the love for all God’s creatures
Shining sweetly in her face.

We will haste to do her honour
From our breezy home on high,

Like a glance of God upon her
Glancing downward from the sky.

Round her path we’ll fondly cluster
“In a bright revolving ring, -
On her brow we'll shed a lustre
Better than a sea-bird’s wing; -

Better than the soft caressing
Of a feather in her hair,

We will wish her God’s own blessing
To attend her everywhere !

_ RICHARD WILTON, M.A, -
Londesborough Rectory.

Papa. Excellent. I hope that these musical notes will ring
through many a school and many a home. Let us now defer
our conversation until to-morrow evening.












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































- THE CRAB ROCK, NEAR FLAMBOROUGH HEAD. P 32,






x, The Guillemot. . 33

























































































































































































































































































CONVERSATION IL

Charlotte. Papa, will you please tell us something about the’
guillemot ? :














34 The Common Guillemot.

Papa. The upper parts of the body are of a dark brown.
colour, inclining to black, except the tips of some of the wing
feathers, which are white. All the under parts of the body are
also white. These birds mostly breed in very inaccessible
rocks and steep cliffs. They were once very numerous in the

- Isle of Man, in Cornwall, on Prestholm Island, near Baumaris ;













































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































LAND’s END, CORNWALL.

also on the Fern island, Northumberland, and in the cliffs, near
Scatlon ; but, I regret to say, that the folly of man has greatly
reduced the flocks of these fine birds.
Charlotte. Mr. Yarrell says that “ about the middle of May
. the common guillemot, with many other species of birds














LCN QULNS. é 35

frequenting rocks at that season, collect at particular points,
where, from the numbers that congregate and the bustle
“apparent among thems, confusion of interest and_ localities
might be expected; but, on the contrary, it will be found that
the guillemots occupy one ,
station, or line of ledges upon
the rock; the puffins a third;
the kittiwake gulls a fourth ;
whilst the most inaccessible .
pinnacles seem to be left for the
use of the lesser black-backed
and the herring gulls. Two
distinet species scarcely ever
breed by the side of each
other.’’

Mary. 1s not the guillemot
very similar, in appearance,
to the king penguin?

fapa. In several respects
it is. Here is a picture of a
congregation of king penguins.
These birds, you are aware, are
not to be found in this country,
but only in the southern lati-_
tudes. What a remarkable:
account Dr. Bennett gives of-
these birds in his work on Mac-
quarie’s Island! He says :— Jconnox GUILLEMOT.

“The number of penguins collected together in this spot is
















36 London Birds.

immense. But it would be almost impossible to guess at it with
any near approach to truth, as during the whole of the day
thirty or forty thousand of them are continually landing, and an
equal number going to sea. They are arranged, when on
shore, in as compact a manner, and in as regular ranks, as a ©
regiment of soldiers, and so classed in the greatest: order, the
young birds being in one situation, the moulting birds in
another, the sitting hens in a third, the clean birds in a fourth,
&c.; and so strictly do birds in similar condition congregate,
that should a bird that is in moulting intrude itself among
those which are clean it is immediately ejected from among
them !”’

Mary. Shall we now return to the consideration of the
birds of our own country; for the penguins are not our neigh-
bours, companions, or visitors ?

Edith, Our own birds of course have the greatest claim
upon our attention, and I suppose never does a day elapse with-
out our seeing some of them. It is observable that in the
poorest districts of London and country towns, large numbers
of song birds and other varieties are kept. The humblest
mechanics take a delight in listening to their sweet notes. The
monotony of the shuttle’s rattle is varied with the voice of the
thrush or the nightingale. Our little feathered friends indeed
are everywhere. The Guildhall Pigeons coo on the top of the
van which conveys culprits from the prison to:the police-office.
Sparrows make friends with cabmen, and are fed with the
crumbs which fall from the table of the coffee-stall keepers.
Housemaids, shake your breakfast cloth out of window, and
leave to the poor little birds a dainty bit !


















* PENGUINS.








The Plover. — 37































thy

Xi

es : aden
ng NN Ne ?
L jo SAN
SO

XY : Nerd









COMMON THICK-KNEED PLOVER.

Zom. Sometimes, when I go out to breakfast, I find nestling
in a bed of moss a quantity of plovers’ eggs, which are con-
sidered a dainty. Ought we to rank plovers as birds of the

“sea ?

Papa. Some varieties are marine, that is, belonging to the
sea; but some species prefer the muddy borders of great

x














38 Ly he Gelden Plover.



rivers, and marshy places, where they can find plenty of small
worms and water insects. They are rarely found in the
. neighbourhood of the sea-coast; but
‘other sorts appear to like the sea,
: and the mouth of those rivers that
fall into the sea. One variety of
plover is so much like another that
it is very difficult to separate the
different species with anything like
=, accuracy. |
Mary. I once. saw a_ plover
which I was told was called’ che





























golden. The top of his head, as well as the whole of the upper

parts of his body, the wings and the tail, were fine silky black,
varied with large golden-yellow spots, placed on the edges of
the webs; the sides of the head, the neck, and the breast, were
varied with spots of grey, brown, and yellow. The throat and
under parts of the body were white. |

Tom. The poor plover has four eggs, about the size and
shape of those of the lapwing, of a greyish olive, blotched with
dwsky. The mother builds her nest hiddes in heath; but she
conceals the precious deposit in vain, for people get a living by
hunting for them, and they are brought in quantities to London,
and other great cities and towns, to be boiled, and eaten by
the epicure. .

Edith. Yes; but let me tell you that thousands of eggs are
sold in London to ignorant people, as plovers’ eggs, that are
no more so than you or I.

Mary. The New York people say that another sort, very














The Dottrel Plover. - 39

much like the golden, is called, in America, the Large Whistling
Field-bird, from its note, which is very shrill. Its flesh is said
to be exquisite.

Tom. Another sort is‘the Dottrel Plever. These are queer
and comical animals. Formerly it was the custom to. go in
quest of them in the night, with
a lighted torch or candle. The
birds, on these occasions, would §
- mimic the actions of the fowler
with great archness. When he
stretched out an arm, they would
stretch out their wings. If he
moved a foot, they moved one
also. In fact, they endeavoured
to imitate every one of his
motions. Then the fowler spread his net and entangled them.

Papa. May we not learn from this that if we are silly enough
to imitate popular vices, we may be entangled in consequences
fatal to our welfare? Lord Bacon says, “‘ We see how ready
apes and monkeys are to imitate all motions of man, and
in catching of dottrels we see how the foolish bird playeth the
ape in gestures !”’ |

Tom. Was not the bird called a dottrel because he was
supposed to be delirious and silly; or, as we say of a man
whose understanding is impair ed by years, that he does, or is a
dotard ?

Papa. J think that derivation is very likely. Sully people
are sometimes called do¢trels in the north of England, just as
they are called geese.
















40 The Chattering Plover.

Edith. The French name for a plover is pluviery. I wonder
if the bird was so called because
the Norman conquerors seized
it and took it for food, just as
\; we call a sheep mutton when
it is killed, and calf weal, that is -
vean.
Charlotte. Last summer I saw
a sweet little plover skimming
- along the sands of the sea-shore,
staking short flights, twittering and
twittering, then nimbly alighting, ~
and as nimbly running again, -and
when I tried to get near him,
flying out of sight. He hada collar round his neck of pure
white. : AS :

Papa. No doubt ye saw a ringed plover, called by Buffon,
“Je pluvier a collier.”

Tom. Some say that we must call him one of our feathered
visitors, because he goes away to-southern climes in the autumn,
and comes back with the warmth of spring. :

Mary. Montagu, I am told, denies this statement, and says
that he has captured many specimens during the severest
winters in Devonshire and Cornwall. In America there is a
variety called the Chattering Plover, or Kill-deer, and some-
times the Noisy Bird. Though it has some other peculiarities,
it has the white collar round the neck.

Tom. Why is it called Kil/-deer? Does it actually destroy
stags and antelopes ?





























The Sanderling and Oyster-catcher. 41





Edith. No; but it sets up a loud chattering cry the moment
any one approHehes which sounds very much like the word
“* kill-deer.”’
_ Mary. But that is not such a queer mode of speech as tiie
New Zealand plover makes, which has a black collar round its
neck instead of a white one. This animal is called ‘* Dood-
oor-oa-attoo,”’ probably from its cry.

Zom. There is a strange-looking ives that is a native of
Senegal. The forehead is covered with a yellow membrane,
passing round the eyes. This is the hooded, or crested plover.
Another sort inhabits the coast of Malabar, the forehead having
naked, bare skin, hanging down i in a pointed flap on each side
of the jaw.

Edith, What is a Sanderling or Curwillet : >

Papa. It is a bird not unlike a plover, prefers the sea-shore,
and lives on small beetles, and other marine insects. “a once
heard an old shrimper call this a Tow-willey, but whys I cari-
didly confess, I don’t know.

Lidith. One of the queerest birds
I ever heard of is the Oyster-_
catcher, sometimes called the Sea-
pie. He is a remarkably clever
thief, and derives his name from
the dexterity with which he procures
his favourite food. He watches
until an unfortunate oyster gapes’
wide enough; then in goes his strong
beak, before the oyster has time to shut up the door of his
house; and soon out comes the poor oyster, whom the bird


















aaa" The Lapwing.





pecks to pieces at leisure. He is good-natured and companion-
able, and, though wild at first, is easily tamed. If taken young,
he behaves himself well in the poultry- ae nuns for food in

neighbouring ponds and ditches.

Papa. There is a rare bird, not unlike a aiouek called the
Cream-coloured Courser. It is a native of Africa. Only three
_ specimens have, it is believed, been taken in Europe. One

.was shot near St. Albans, in Hertfordshire. It ran with
incredible swiftness. .

Tom. I suppose that we must not call sandpipers, peewits,
or lapwirigs, sea-birds, though they prefer marshes and the
banks of rivers. It is a pity they should be shot for mere
wanton and cruel sport, for they are very useful to the gardener. ©
In Holland they are sometimes eaten as food, and their eggs
fetch a high price as a breakfast dainty. The mother and
father lapwings are very fond
of their little olive-coloured off-
spring. These are able to run
‘two or three days after they
are hatched, but are not capable
of flying till nearly full-grown.
Dr. Shaw informs us that they
are led about by the parents in
search of food, ee ae are not fed by them. During this
period of bird babyhood, the bird parents exhibit the greatest
anxiety for their children’s welfare. The arts used by them to
turn aside boys and dogs from the little cave in the ground
near which the young ones are nestling, are very singular. The
mother bird, upon the approach ofan intruder, boldly pushes






















eS The Crane. a 43





out to meet him. When as near as she dare venture, she |
springs from the ground with a loud scream, and strikes at the
invader with her wings, now and then fluttering about as if
- sorely wounded, To complete the deception, she grows more
clamorous as she retires from the nest. At last, when the
pursuers are drawn off to a proper distance, she shakes her
plumage for flight, and leaves them far behind.

Edith. Nor are they less comical in their mode of finding
their food. I have seen this bird approach a worm-cast, hop
round it, then slightly move and scratch the ground with her
feet, disturbing the worm beneath, who came to the entrance
of his hole to see what was the matter. The bird gently
caught him, so to speak, by the nose, pulled him out with great
delicacy and tenderness, as-if she knew he might break in half
if she wasn’t careful, and then ate him up ey leaving not
a morsel behind.

Tom. Ought we to call cranes sea- birds: ?

Papa. No; it is true that they live in marshy places, in
order that they may more easily find the worms, frogs, and
slugs, on which they feed, but they rarely visit the sea-shore.
It is remarkable that only one kind inhabits Europe.

Tom. The crane is said to be one of our feathered visitors,
for it retires northwards in the spring to breed, but in the
winter season it returns to warmer regions, : such as India and
Egypt.

Lidith. Is it ever-found anywhere in ‘England?

Papa. No, I believe not at present. It is one of the birds
that has been extirpated by the march of civilization, by the
draining of the low fens of the counties of Cambridge and
















44 i Turnstones.





Lincoln, and by the cruel spirit of persecution with which it
has been attacked, because it was supposed to eat seeds, and
to bite off young plants. It was formerly abundant in the
country. At royal and corporation feasts dozens were served
up atatime. The last specimen is said to have been shot in
Cambridgeshire above eighty years ago.





























































































TURNSTONE.

Tom. What are turnstones?

Papa. They are true sea-birds, and very much like the
dottrel and sand-piper. They feed upon beetles, and other
insects, and such grubs and worms as hide themselves under
pebbles and stones on the sea-shore. They are so called
because they turn over these stones with their beaks. We may -
class them under our feathered visitors, for they prefer cold
weather to warm. They do not breed with us, but visit our


















Lhe Hooping- Crane and Egret flerom. | 45





shores in August, and they leave us in the spring, retiring
further and further north.

Edith. once saw a large specimen, stuffed, of the hooping-
crane. It measured four feet six inches in length. It is never
known in England, but in the summer it is abundant in Hudson’s
Bay. It retires to the south in the autumn. There are two
large varieties of the same bird, known as the Indian and as
the Siberian. :

Tom. Another bird of the crane sort was formerly common
in this. country, and was served up as a dainty at great feasts.
It was called the little egret heron. It is now extinct, having
been destroyed from the face of the earth. It was an elegant
bird, and so common in former times that Archbishop Nevile
had one thousand served up at his great feast.

Mary. In the old records of Beverley, is to be found an

account of the expenses of a present to the Earl of Northum-
berland in 1502. Among them is the payment of twelve
shillings for six heronsewes, two bitterns, and four shollards.
_ Papa. Remember that the heronsew, hernsew, or hernshaw,
for it was written in all these ways, was a young heron, and
was esteemed a choice delicacy. Chaucer, in his ‘‘ Canterbury
Tales,’’ describing the feast of Cambriscan, says:

“T wull not tellen of hir strange sewes,
Ne hir swannes, ne hir heronsewes.”

Tom. I have read that from this last word, still further
corrupted, arose the proverbial expression, introduced by
Shakspere into “Hamlet,” ‘I am but mad, north, north-west ;
when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw.”’

Mary. Did you ever eat a bit of heron ?
















46 fLabits of the Fleron.





Edith. No; I should think not indeed! Such birds would
now be discarded as little better than rank carrion.

Papa. Yes; but let me tell you that it was formerly esteemed
a great dainty, and called ‘‘viand royal.” Even the full- -grown
bird was not too powerful for the digestive organs of those
days, and heronries were kept up in various parts of ane
country for the purposes of food as well as diversion.

Tom. No doubt this was partly owing to the difficulty of -
obtaining fresh meat during the winter months.

Edith. People do not generally know that the capture or
destruction of this bird was severely punished.

Tom. It is also a curious fact that the fat of the bird used
to be much sought after in the composition of the pastes used
_ for the purpose. of angling. An old writer, quoted in Sir |
William Jardine’s ‘“‘Naturalist’s Library,’”’ says that any bait
anointed with the fat of the thigh-bone of the heron is a great
temptation to any fish. The scent from his legs was considered
attractive to them when he waded in the water.

Papa. Surely here we see an instance of design in thé
creation. The heron, during the greater parts of the year, is a
wading bird. His favourite food is fish of all accessible kinds
and water reptiles. He will also attack water-rats and mice,
and young aquatic birds. Now the odour of his legs seems to
attract the fish, thus bringing his prey within easy reach.

‘Tom. His mode of life also contains a lesson to us all. In
the late parts of autumn and winter he may be seen by the sea-
shore, taking his station as soon as the shoals begin to be
uncovered by the ebbing of the tide; then eating till he is
thoroughly gorged. . Rows of them have been observed.on some














Varieties of Fleron. 47





retired sand-bank, their heads sunk between their shoulders,
exhibiting a lively picture of full-fed lnSs, Then it is that
they are easily caught.

‘Mary. It really seems a pity to take them. They are so
beautiful, and would be such a picturesque accompaniment to
_ every rural scene, whether the landscape be of the refined park,
the wild “and pastoral glen, or the precipitous ocean rock.

Edith. \ have heard it said that their quill is of extra-
ordinary strength. —

Tom. Their bill is; for, in a state of nature, ee generally
transfix their prey with a. sudden dart or blow of their bill. I
never heard that their quill is stronger than that of other birds.

fapa. Were is another striking evidence of design in
creation. The quills and feathers of all birds are remarkable
for their combination of lightness and strength. Some
inventive enthusiasts have thought that a flying machine will be
practicable as soon as large wings can be made as light and as
strong in proportion as feathers.

Mary. The grouping of the black el white feathers,.

relieved by tints of rich purple grey, is very beautiful.

Tom. What is an egret : ?

Papa. This bird is generally considered a variety of the
heron. The plumage is generally pure white: they breed on
trees, sometimes at only a few feet from the ground, but
generally at a high elevation; always near water. Sometimes
the great white egret is called the great white heron. This
bird measures, in length, three feet four or five inches. '

Edith. One variety is called the cow or cattle heron, because
it attends upon cows, and seems to delight in their company.


















48 Bitterns.





Charlotte. Can any explanation be given of this preference ?

Papa. Yes; it is very fond of feeding on the numberless
insects which surround cows, and irritate them sometimes
almost to madness. It must be a great comfort to the cow to
find herself relieved of these troublesome visitants by a long- ©
billed attendant, who snaps them up by hundreds and
thousands.

Tom. What are Bienes ?

Mary. They are skulking birds: the plumage of their |
crown, and upper parts, is black; the bill, legs, and feet, are
_ of a dark yellow, sometimes greenish. The prevalent appear-
ance of the bird is a sort of sienna yellow, dashed with brown.
It is a marsh bird, and loves to wander about in the night. I
suppose we must call it a visitant that arrives in the autumn
and stays.during the winter. It makes a peculiar booming
noise. It used’ to be a favourite dish at the tables of our
‘forefathers ; but now it. is discarded because its flavour is fishy.
But some say, that a it is kept long enough, it is tender and
good. :

Lidith. . Ought we to consider the stork an inhabitant or a
visitor in England ?

Papa. J never saw one in Eneiand (except i in the Zoological
Gardens), and I believe they are becoming more and more rare..
On the continent of Europe these birds are frequently kept
tame in the market-places. They are something like the dogs
of Constantinople, for they are excellent scavengers. They
clear off refuse with much skill and completeness, stalking .
lazily amongst the stalls and buyers and sellers. After they
have glutted themselves with offal, they fly away to the tops of










W.R. BRAUNER
N. HANOVER ST:
ARLISLE. PA-

Bi
G

MR,











49

Storks.



































































































































































































































































































































































































































the houses, where they perch sometimes on one leg, and look,
_at a little distance, like statues against the sky. They like to
















50 - : Tame Stork.

breed on the tops of chimneys, on the spires of churches, and
on other elevated buildings. in towns. In Holland it is
considered very unlucky to kill one. Artificial flat-topped
erections are often put up for its use and convenience. The
stork is a friendly bird, and delights to live among the habi-
tations of men. In some cities abroad heavy penalties: -are
levied on those who wound or destroy it. ;

Tom. The principal sort, I believe, has plumage fete, pure
white, with here and there glossy black.

Edith. Yes; but its bill, legs, and feet are as red as red.

Charlotte. In the British Workman, for 1867, there is an
interesting account of a tame stork, then belonging to Mr.
Samuel Gurney, of Carshalton, which, through kind treatment,
had become so very tame that
the bird, never seemed so
happy as when in the society ,
of the labourers, or in follow-
ing the ploughman up and
down the furrows. During
the hay-time the mowers could
scarcely take a stroke with
their scythe before the stork
-was at their heels, and he
would never leave them until
their work was done. When
the men were at dinner he
would refresh himself by taking a short sleep, standing on-one
leg, in which position not only storks but other birds usually
go to rest. _




















51

Spoonbill.





° My yy DD

i,



Le

lj
re



LC







Uh, i
Go.

ey
e







wane Pa
vz A
any BGO



\# Sigs

en ret
Shires yy






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Why is this bird called a spoonbill?
Because it has a long bill like a flat spoon.

lary.

It is

crinkled and wrinkled towards the eye, and quite black, but

Tom.

This

‘

towards the tip it is yellow, and almost golden in hue.












52

Spoonbill.





wonderful machine is evidently designed by the Creator to help
it in procuring its food. It is fond of small sea reptiles and fish, :





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































SPOONBILLS.

but it feeds upon.all the produce of marine and aquatic life,
which is so plentifully found in pools left by the sea-side, or is

formed by fresh waters.














-

Zax on Lire-arms. Se





Mary. Could we not find out what food it sie Oe by
watching its habits in confinement?
Papa. No; because in confinement the habits of all birds

are so greatly modified. How could you find out that a boy

liked oranges and sugar-candy, if he was kept in a cage and
never saw a morsel of either? They are certainly fond of fish.
Young birds when caught will feed freely on bread and: milk.

Tom. In days gone by the spoonbill was often found in
“various parts of the United Kingdom, but now the breed is
_almost extinct.

Charlotte. 1 have sometimes read, in the accounts of old
feasts, that the crane was served up as a dainty.

Papa. Ay; that is so. But we are not at all certain that the
bird so esteemed was the same as is now called a crane by
modern writers on the subject. He is very seldom seen in Eng-
land. He is a large and handsome bird. Heuis very ambitious,
and loves elevated stations. We must call him a visitor, for he
only appears for a very short time during the year.

Mary. Mr. Wood states that a specimen of the crane is
now seldom seen in our country, except in a zoological garden.

Papa. Weare informed by the historians that cranes formerly
visited the marshes of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire in vast
flocks, but by the folly of man this useful bird is almost extinct in
our country. It is to be hoped that the clever proposal of the
present Chancellor of the Exchequer (1870) to tax fire-arms
will save the life of many a valuable bird. Mr. Lowe knows
how useful birds are, for he has lived in Australia, where they
import them from England. .

Tom. The Australian colonists are wisely encouraging the












o4

Cranes.























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE CRANE.

importation of birds, whilst Englishmen are foolishly destroying

them !

Charlotte. I do wish that the tax on guns had been adopted

long ago by parliament.

It would have been a boon not only

to the birds but to the nation.














Cranes. » 55





















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































DEMOISELLE AND CROWNED CRANES,

‘Tom. Ihave here a beautiful engraving of the demoiselle and
crowned cranes, which are to be found in Eastern Europe.
The coronet of rich golden plumes, of the latter bird, renders
‘it very attractive. . ;














56 . . Woodcock.





2 WOODCOCK.

Tom. What do you say about the woodcock? Is hea visitor,
or an inhabitant ? . i

Papa. There are instances on record of his having bred in.
various parts of Great Britain, but generally he comes to us in
the beginning or towards the end of October, and flies away
before March. -

Tom. have heard game-keepers say that these birds are
remarkably shy. When they have settled themselves comfortably
down for the winter, they prefer a wood of hollies, or other large
evergreens, where they can run along underneath. There they
















Snipe. ae



remain quiet during the day; but when twilight arrives they like
to go to a good marsh for their supper. Their favourite food
is water insects: these they obtain by boring in the mud. They
are very fond too of grubs, found under dead leaves.











f:dith, The snipe is in some respects like the woodcock, but
















58 Fudcock.



in others different. Itis a winter visitant, coming in October and
leaving: in March. :

Mary. What is a judcock ?
| Papa. Wt is a beautiful bird, much smaller than a common
snipe, though it belongs to the race.

Edith. Once when I was staying in Lincolnshire, I was
shown a black-tailed godwit. It was formerly considered a great
delicacy for the table, but now they are not much admired.
Then there is the red-breasted snipe or red godwit.

Tom. It is interesting to observe the difference between the
summer and the winter dress of
many of these birds. When they
take to themselves a mate, they
put on a much handsomer dress. _

Edith. One variety of these
birds is called the green-legged
horseman; but why, | do not know.
This class of birds is known by
many different names, and every
sort has some peculiarity. There
is the will-wicket, called also the
_ sand- lark, or sandy iaversele

Mary.- 1 am sorry to say that another remarkable bird is
gradually passing away from our island. I refer to the ruff male
and reeve female. It used to visit usin summer, but the diain-
age of the fens and the general cultivation of the country
lessen its: numbers every year. Thus it is that many birds
which were common among us a a ago are now scarcely
to be met with. . Aa 8














The Ruff.

ie “AR ) .
‘Ci: eh
Coo Nie :

lk











THE RUFF.

Papa. The trade of catching and fattening ruffs for the
market was, at one time, a very lucrative trade in England,

‘but now we rarely hear of a ruff being used for the purposes of
food. ; : ack












60 ioe Sandpipers. :



Charlotte. Did you ever see a dunlin, or stint, or purre?

Papa. No; I never met with one; but they are equally dis-
tributed all along our sea-shores, from Shetland to the Scilly
Islands. His habits are those of the other sand-pipers. -In
fact, there are a great many sorts of sand-pipers. There is the
- purple or rock, the curlew and little stint, the broad-bill, and
some that are occasional stragglers found on the sea-shore.

Tom. Why was the black-winged stilt so called?.

Papa. I should think from its long red legs. These birds
like to stand in a shallow pool of water; mid-leg deep, and to
snap leisurely at the insects which buzz around them.

Tom. 1 confess I am getting tired of talking about these
sand-pipers and peewhits. They are very curious to look at,
and some of them very delicious when well cooked; butthe lives,
if I may so speak of them, possess very little variety. Man does
- not hold much intercourse with them; he les in wait for them;
~ he shoots them; eatsthem. Hesometimes kills them apparently
from a mere savage love of destruction. He observes that they
are intensely fond of their children, that they show great skill
and cunning in enticing away a stranger from the neighbour-
hood of a nest, but it is seldom one meets with a personal
anecdote illustrating the history of an individual among them. |
This is most likely owing to the fact that they come and go,
like guests at an inn, and are seldom or never tamed.

Papa. 1 must add one word more. We have mentioned
many uses of sea-birds, but there is one to which we have not: -
hitherto alluded.’ I remember to have read in Sir Henry Ellis’s
edition of Brand’s ‘Observations on Popular Antiquities,’’ that
the minister of Arbirlot,in the county of Forfar, informed Sir John
















| Bitterns. 7 of 61



Sinclair that sea-gulls are considered as ominous; when they
‘appear in the fields a storm from-the south-east generally follows,
and when the storm begins to abate they fly back to the shore.
In the parish of Holywood, Dumfriesshire, they are commonly
called sea-maws. They come occasionally from the Solway
Frith to that part of the country. « Their arrival seldom fails of
being followed by a high wind and heavy rain from the south-
west, within twenty-four hours, and. they. return to the Frith
again as soon as the storm begins to abate. Willsford, in his
“‘Nature’s Secrets,’ says, ‘“‘Sea-mews early in the morning,
~ making a gaggering more than ordinary, foretoken stormy and
blustering weather.” The same author informs us that. when
cormorants, mallards, and other water-fowls bathe themselves
much, prune their feathers, and flicker or clap themselves with
their wings, heavy rain and high wind are sure to follow.
' Edith. Bishop Hall, in his “Characters of Virtues and Vices,”
speaking of the superstitious man,
says, “‘If a bittern fly over his head
by night, he makes his will.’’ In
Wild’s “Iter Boreale,’’ we read,
“The peaceful king-fishers are met
together, about the decks, and
prophesy calm weather.”’

.Zom., It appears from the poet
Aristophanes that the same idea
‘was prevalent in Greece more than
per two thousand years ago.









“From birds in sailing, men instruction take,
Now lie in port, now sail, and profit make.”












62 Value of Sea-birds.

Mary. Jt appears then.that sea-birds, to a certain extent,
answer the purpose of a barometer as well as a lighthouse and
a buoy. a. Bs age Pe

Edith. Yes, and they answer to the storm signals now in use
at every port. They claim, then, the fullest protection that we
can cast around them; to ‘destroy~ them in order to decorate a
bonnet is surely at once a blunder and a crime. :

Charlotte. Why was it that the old Presbyterians of Scotland
thought the lapwing such an unlucky bird?.. :

Papa. Some say the following was the reason: As this bird
frequents solitary places, its haunts were sometimes invaded by
fugitive Presbyterians during the persecution they suffered in
the reigns of Charles II. and James II., when they were often
discovered by the clamours of the lapwing. .












































































































































































































































































































































































































































Swallows. 63

POS Eloy
ao JUG”



















CONVERSATION III.

Papa. Suppose that we now consider the hints that are given
to us as to various kinds of évades and occupations by the habits
of birds. : ts ou pee

Tom. - This is a most curious subject. Some birds may. be










64. The Mechanwal Skill o Birds.

called masons, some miners, others carpet-makers, others again
basket-makers, weavers, and sailors. Others, again, make felt
and cement. Others are architects, and make domes. With all
our boasted mechanical skill, we cannot rival, much less can we
improve, the.ingenuity and geometrical accu of these little
designers and artificers.
_ Edith. Did you say that some birds were Mais
Tom. Yes; such is the bank-swallow, or sand-martin. He.
does not, like some gnawing insects, bite off a portion of the
sand, and carry it out of the hole in its mouth: it clings with





its claws to the bank, and then pecks holes in the sand, just as
a miner would with his pickaxe. Some say that the hole it
makes is as round as if it was marked out with a pair of com-
passes, and that if there is any irregularity it is owing to the
crumbling ofthe sand. The excavation is always funnel-shaped.
‘It is generally from two to three feet deep, something like an
anderground gallery, where a bed of loose hay and a few of the
smaller breast feathers of geese, ducks, or fowls, is 5 spread with
little art for the reception of the eggs.

Papa. Observe‘also that the gallery 1 is always a little uphill,
so that the rain never settles in it. ~

£dith. Jt is:said these swallows sometimes desert a hole
because it gets so full of fleas, just in the same way ‘as the
tourist avoids some continental hotels.

Papa. Sailors say nobody can tell anything of where the
stormy petrels come from, or how they breed, unless they hatch
their eggs under their wings as they sit on the water. _

Tom. What a ridiculous idea! Just so they have sometimes
been called witches, and Mother Carey’s chickens, from some




















Stormy Petrel, 65





ideal hag of that name. Wilson, in his “‘ American Ornith-
ology,’” gives a most eloquent description which I will venture to
quote. “‘It.is,’’ says he, “indeed an interesting sight to
observe these little birds, in a gale, coursing over the waves,
‘down the declivities, and up the ascents of: the foaming surf
that threatens to burst over their heads, sweeping along the
hollow troughs of the sea as in a sheltered valley, dnd again
-mounting with the rising billow, and just above its surface,
occasionally dropping their . feet, : 3
which, striking the water, throw
them up again with additional
force, sometimes leaping, with both
legs parallel, on the surface of the ~
roughest waves for several yards ° :
at a time. Meanwhile they con- .
tinue coursing from side to side of |
the ship’s wake, making excursions | 5
far and wide to the right and to the
left, now a great way ahead, and
now shooting astern for several hundred yards, returning again
to the ship as if she were all the while stationary, though
_perhaps running at the rate of ten knots an hour. But the most
singular peculiarity of this bird is its faculty of standing, and
even running, on the surface of the water, which it performs
_ with apparent facility. .When any greasy matter is thrown
overboard, these birds instantly collect around it, facing to
windward, with their long wings expanded and their webbed
feet patting the water. The lightness of their bodies and the
action of the wind on ‘their wings, enable them with ease to


















66 — Pupfins.





assume this position. In calm weather they: perform the same
manceuvre, by keeping their wings just so much in action as to
pe event their feet from sinking below the surface.’’ ,

- Edith. Jt is found by observation that oe excavate
burrows, and even fortify their retreats.

‘Charlotte. Puffins also make their nests in a hole three or
four feet below the surface of the ground.

Tom. -1 am sorry to say that the puffin is a naughty bird, and |
fond of fighting. His bill seems adapted for warfare. It is of
a singular form, exactly resembling two very short blades of a
. knife applied one against the other by the edge.. Ravens
sometimes offer hattle to puffins; but as soon as the raven draws
near, in the hope, perhaps, of stealing an egg or a young bird,
the mother puffin catches him under the throat with her beak,
and sticks her claws into his breast, till he screams with agony, ;
and tries to get away. But the puffin keeps fast hold of him,
and tumbles him about till: both frequently fall into the sea,
where the raven is drowned, and the puffin returns in triumph
to her nest. But should the raven in the first outset get hold of
the puffin’s neck, the former generally conquers.

Freddie. When I was in New Zealand, I remember seeing a
strange bird, called a Kakopo, which is now almost, if not
entirely, extinct. We brought one with usin a cage as far as
Sydney. It got out one day, and burrowed a hole between two
and three feet deep, so that we thought we had lost it’ We
found it: by calling out ‘‘Kakopo, Kakopo,”’ when it answered,
and came to the mouth of its cave. It was very tame, and
. allowed itself to be secured without a struggle. It died shortly
afterwards, apparently of chagrin.














Fackdaws. 67

































































































JACKDAWS:.

faith. Jackdaws also make their houses in holes.
Tom. Yes; but not often. They seem to prefer the inter-

stices in buildings or rocks.
‘ £Edith. But what should you. think of the lark mE: The

poet Grahame says of him:—- ‘ =
“The daisied lea he loves, where tufts of grass
Luxuriant crown the ridge; there, with his mate,
He founds their lowly house, of withered leaves
And coarsest speargrass; next, the inner work
With finer, and still finer fibres-lays,
Rounding it curious with his speckled breast.” -

Freddie. It is observable that the female lark not only
scrapes a cavity in which to form her nest, but sometimes
















68 Affection of Eider Duck.





loosens the bottom of it to a considerable depth. She places
the first layers of her nest very loosely, so that if any moisture
should get in, it may sink down and be absorbed. One writer
says that if she uses any horsehair in building the nest it is of
a white colour. Thus we observe that the lark has not only
some notion of mining but of drainage too. .

Tom. Yes; but some birds seem to like moisture. The little
grebe or dab-chick, for instance, makes a nest of wet grass and
rushes, increasing the materials as she continues to lay.

Papa. We havea beautiful instance of motherly affection in
the eider-duck, from whence comes the well-known eider-down.
I am not sure whether the eider-duck is naturally a miner, but
some of the Icelandic proprietors of breeding-grounds, in order
to accommodate their little families, cut out holes in rows on
the smooth sloping banks, where they would not otherwise
build, but of which they gladly take possession when thus
scooped out. The male and female together work at the nest,
laying a rather coarse, but plentiful, foundation of sea-weed and
rift grass. Upon this rough mattress the female spreads a bed
of the finest down plucked from her own breast. Though this
only weighs when cleaned three-quarters of an ounce, Pennant
says it is so elastic as to fill the crown of the largest hat. Thus,
you see, the bird strips herself to warm her children.

Freddie. We have hitherto spoken of mining and draining
birds, but other sorts are masons and plasterers. We might
almost call them potters. The nut-hatch is said to breed in the
hole of a tree; if this hole be too large, she narrows the entrance
with mud as neatly kneaded as if she had hired a bricklayer.
She uses this device to barricade out unwelcome intruders, such |
















The Swift.

69





- as wood - peckers.
She has a sort of
idea of distinct fam-
ily life; she wishes
also to keep her

little children from
tumbling out of
the nest, for young
birds are often like

young boys and |

girls, heedless of
danger. ;

Charlotte. The - TA\

swift. is undoubt-

edly the fleetest of rn

the swallow tribe.

Ledith. Is it true
that the inventor
of clay houses took
the hint from swal-
lows?

Papa. Ido not
know, Edith. Clay

and other earths.

are used for build-
ing all the world
over, from Ireland
to New Zealand.

THE SWIFT.



What, indeed, is brick but moulded and burnt earth? I ought
















70 Clever Builders. —



to add that the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle, thinks there
-is as much real ingenuity displayed in the building of a swal-
low’s nest as in some of the prodigious and more ambitious
efforts of mankind. :
Charlotte. My namesake, Mrs. Charlotte Smith, remarks: “It
is curious to observe swallows dipping their breasts swiftly into
pools, and then immediately resorting to their nests to temper
the mortar with the moisture.’’ ‘I have frequently seen from
my window,”’ says the Abbé de la Pluche, ‘‘the swallow either
beginning or repairing her-nest, which is a structure entirely _
different from all others. She wants neither wood, nor hay, nor
bands, but knows how to make a kind of plaster, or rather
cement, with which she erects a dwelling equally secure and
convenient for herself and all her family. She has no. vessels
to receive the water she uses, nor a barrow to convey her.sand,
‘nor a shovel to mix her mortar; but I have seen her pass and
repass over the basin in the’ parterre: she raises her wings, and
wets her breast on the surface of the water, after which she
sheds the dew over the dust, and then tempers and works it up
with her bill.”? Goldsmith also says, ‘‘The nest is built with mud
from some neighbouring brook, well tempered with the bill
moistened with water for the better adhesion.”’ The ancient
account of the swallow’s nest, given by Pliny, runs thus:—
“Surely in no one thing is the wit of birds more admirable.
The swallows frame their nests of clay and earth, but they
strengthen and make them fast with straw. In case at any time -

they cannot meet with soft and tough clay, for want thereof - |

they drench and wet their feathers with good-store of water,
and then bestrew them over with dust.” e














Swallow's Nest. wT







fapa. This is a very
pretty story; but ifwe are Bar
to believe modern writers, 4 a
itis aromance. They say :
that a swallow can never
carry water in its bill or on
its feathers. They contend
that swallows employ a
kind of spittle with which.
they temperand moistenthe
. Clay.
' Lom. Wave you ever
observed that a swallow
will sometimes build against
a perpendicular wall, with-
out any projecting ledge under? It is wonderful how cleverly
the little architect works and plasters the materials against
the brick or stone. He does not go on too fast; he builds
only in the’ morning, spending the rest of the day in flying
and searching for food. It takes him about twelve days to
finish his clay house with a little round door near the top;
outside it is full of knobs, and inside it is not very smooth;
“but inside it is neatly lined with feathers and moss, and
becomes quite a comfortable nursery. :

fL:dith. Yes; but it is sometimes sad to see how a sudden
squall of rain and wind will loosen the hold it has on the wall:
then down comes the little house, and the poor Redeclines are
tumbled on to the ground. .
_ Lom. Sometimes the window-swallow takes to a window in
























Ges |, Swallows and their Nests.





such numbers that he becomes a nuisance. In such cases, if
the wall is well rubbed with oil and soft soap, the builder, cannot



NESTS OF THE CLIFF SWALLOW,

zerland. ‘The swallow,’

Salmonia,”’ ‘“‘is one of
my favourite birds, and a
rival of the nightingale,
for he glads my sense of ~
seeing as much as the
other does my sense of
hearing. He is the joy-
ous prophet of the year,
the harbinger of the best
season * * * winter is
unknown to him, and he
leaves the green mea-
dows of England in au-
tumn for the myrtle

make his plaster stick; so
he tries another place.
Papa. I love the dear
swallow! He comes to
tell us that Nature is
about to put on her beau-
tiful garments, and he
stays with us through the
months of flowers and
fruit. He is almost the
only bird seen in some
parts of mountainous Swit-

says Sir Humphrey Davy, in his



ESCULENT SWALLOW AND NEST.

and orange: Sroves of Italy, and for the palms of Africa.’’










Swallows Preparing for Flight. 73







































i AN ag
SAAT
MANTIS
INET
HTT
Hingis
i









Charlotte. Mr. Pennant says that, for a few days previous to
their departure, they assemble in vast flocks: on house-tops or
churches, from whence they take their flight from England.











10




- Construction of Thrush’s Nest.

«





a

Zom. The Greeks were great admirers of this bird. Thus
sings the cheerful Anacreon:—

“Gentle bird, we find thee here,

When nature wears her summer best;
‘Thou comest to weave thy simple nest ;
And.when the chilling winter. lowers,
Again thou seek’st the genial bowers
Of Memphis or the shores of Nile,
Where sunny hours of verdure smile.”

Papa. The nests of the song-thrush are, if anything, more



into it.

NEST OF SONG-THRUSH,

remarkable than those
of the swallow. The
thrush forms her nest in
the. branches of trees,
on the outside of moss,
and on the inside with
some kind of dust mixed
with some fluid, and ar-

-tificially smooth. When

finished it is like a lining

of dried paste, and when
(| moved the eggs rattle

in it. Some say that
this paste is too light to
be made of clay. Cow-
dung probably enters

The layer is little thicker than writing-paper. The

beauty of the little mason’s work consists in spreading
pellets of dung on basket work of moss and straw. This is
laid on with the spittle of the bird as a cement.
















he

The Nut-hatch a Carpenter.





















NUT-HATCH

-hatch as a mason
A sportsman once caught ore of these

birds. The story is thus told by Loudon, in h

but he

2

We have spoken of the nut

is also a carpenter.

Ladith.

,

remained all night, and the next mornin

was placed in a small cage of oak-wood and wire.
tapping with his beak was the fi

0 Ow
ese
YS oO oO
. O.8
ang
Nh oO
a S
bo oe
@ n
= FCs
TE bp

rst sound I heard, though sleep-

divided from the other by a landing-place.

.

ing. in an apartment

.














76 Lhe Nut-hatch.

He had food given to him—minced chicken and bread crumbs,
and water. He ate and drank with a most perfect impudence,
and the moment he had satisfied himself, turned again to his
work of battering the frame of his cage, the sound from which,
both in loudness and prolongation of noise, is only to be com-
- pared to the efforts of a fashionable footman upon a fashionable
door in a fashionable square. He had a particular fancy for the
extremities of the corner pillars of the cage; on these he spent
his most elaborate taps, and at this moment, though he has only
occupied the cage a day, the wood is pierced and worn like a
piece of old worm-eaten timber. He probably had an idea that
if these main beams could once be penetrated, the rest of the
superstructure would fall and free him. Against the doorway |
he had also a particular spite, and once succeeded -in opening
it; and when, to interpose a further obstacle, it was tied in a.
double knot with string, the perpetual application of his beak
quickly unloosed it. In ordinary cages a circular hole is left in
the wire for the bird to insert his head to drink from a glass; to
this hole the nut-hatch constantly repaired, not for the purpose
of drinking, but.to try to push out more than his head; but in
vain, for he is a thick bird, and rather heavily built. But the
instant he found the hole too small he would withdraw his head,
and begin to dig and hammer at the circle and where it is |
rooted in the wood, with his pickaxe of a beak, evidently with a
design to enlarge the orifice. His labour was incessant, and he
ate as largely as he worked, and I fear that it was the united
effects of both that killed him. His hammering was peculiarly
laborious, for he did not perch as other birds do, but grasping ~
his hold with his immense feet, he turned upon them as upon
















The MERE | 77





a pivot, and struck with the whole weight of his body, thus
assuming the appearance with his entire form of the head of a
hammer, or, as I have sometimes seen birds on mechanical
clocks, made to strike the hour by swinging on a wheel. We.
were in hopes that when the sun went down he would cease.
from his labours, and rest; but no, at. the interval of every ten
minutes, up to nine or ten o’clock in the night, he resumed his
knocking. An awful flutteting in the cage, now covered with.
a handkerchief, announced that something was wrong: we
. found him at the bottom of his prison with his feathers ruffled,
and nearly all ei back. At length the poor. little fellow
drew his last gasp.” :
Mary. twas a grevious act of cruelty. to imprison such a

bird in a cage.
Papa. Here is another extract from Buffon’s book upon

birds, illustrative of that remarkable carpenter, the wood-
pecker. We must not too hastily suppose that the woodpecker
is an anomaly in the glorious creation of the loving God, as
Buffon appears to think. Depend upon it, the woodpecker has
his share in the distribution of enjoyment; he has admirable
organs to carry out his carpentry work. Why should he not
take as much delight in pecking holes in trees, chiselling bark,
and boring into wood, as we do in higher SccupaHoney At
any rate his life is as pleasant as a coal-miner’s.. charlotte,
suppose you read the passage for us.

Charlotte. ‘Animals constantly engaged in the pursuit of
_prey, urged by want and restrained by apprehensions of danger,
depend for subsistence on the vigour of their own exertions;
and having scarcely time’ to satisfy their immediate desires, they




















78 The Woodpecker.





can have no leisure to cherish the benevolent affections. Such
is the solitary condition of all the carnivorous birds, except a
few tribes, which prowl on putrid carrion, and rather combine
like robbers than unite as friends. But of all the birds which
earn their subsistence by spoil, none leads a life so laborious
and so painful as the woodpecker.. Nature has condemned him
to incessant toil and slavery. While others freely employ their ~
courage or address, and either shoot on rapid wing, or lurk in
close ambush, the woodpecker is constrained to drag out an
insipid existence, in boring the bark and hard fibres of trees. to
extract its humble prey. .
Papa. Thank you, Charlotte. But I still think that Butea
is entirely wrong in supposing the woodpecker to be an object
of pity, because he has to work hard for his living. What
would the naturalist say to the squirrel, who always appears to
be one of the happiest of animals, and yet for many months in
the year must find it far more difficult to procure his favourite
food of nuts than the woodpecker his insects?
Tom. The American naturalist, Wilson, who is quite as good:
an authority as Buffon on such matters, quite agrees with you,
Papa. He says, speaking of the gold-winged woodpecker,
“The abject and degraded character which the Count de Buffon,
with equal eloquence and absurdity, has drawn of the whole
’ tribé of woodpeckers, belongs not to the elegant and sprightly
_ bird now before us. He is ot ‘constrained to drag out an
‘insipid existence in boring the bark and hard fibres of trees to
extract his prey,’ for he frequently finds in the loose mouldering
ruins of an old stump (the capital of a nation of pismires) more
than is sufficient for the wants of a whole week. He cannot be

~N










~The Woodpecker. . | 79

said to ‘lead a mean and gloomy life, without an.intermission
of labour,’ who usually feasts by the first peep of dawn, and
spends the early and sweetest hours of morning on the highest
peaks of the tallest trees, calling on his mate or companions, or
pursuing and gamboling with them round the larger limbs and
body of the tree for hours together; for such are ‘really his
habits. “Can it be said that ‘necessity never grants an interval
-of sound repose’ to that bird, who, while other tribes are
exposed to all the peltings of the midnight storm, lodges dry

and secure in a snug chamber of his’own constructing; or that .

‘the narrow circumference of a tree circumscribes his dull round
of life,’ who, as seasons.and inclination inspire, roams from the
frigid to the torrid zone, feasting on the abundance of various
regions? Or is it a proof that ‘his appetite is never softened by
delicacy of taste,’ because he so often varies his. bill of fare,
occasionally preferring to animal food the rich milkiness of
_young Indian corn, and the wholesome and nourishing berries
of the wild cherry, sour gum, and red cedar? Let the reader
turn-to the faithful representation of him given ih our figure,
and say whether his looks be ‘sad and melancholy?’ It is truly —
ridiculous and astonishing that such absurdities should escape
the lips or pen of one so able to do justice to the respective
merits of every species; but Buffon had too often a favourite
theory to prop up, that led him insensibly astray: and -so, for-
sooth, the whole family of woodpeckers must look sad, sour,
and be miserable, to satisfy the caprice of a whimsical philo-
Sone, who takes it into his head that they are, and ought to
be so.’
Mary. Tagree with Wilson duties than with Buffon.


















80 _ The Woodpecker.



Edith. Wilson also
gives a history of a
woodpecker, which
much resembles the
anecdote I have al-
ready told you about
the nut-hatch. ‘In
rambling through the ,.,
woods one day, |;
happened to shoot ;
one of these birds, | .
and wounded him
slightly in the wing. \
Finding him in full
feather, and seeming- .
ly but little hurt, I
took him home, and -
put him into a large
cage, made of willows,
intending to keep him
in my own room, that
we might become
better acquainted. As
soon as he found “
himself inclosed on Pikgje ‘\ :
all sides, he lost no fT oenBN WOODTECKER.” :
time in idle fluttering, but, throwing himself against the bars of
the cage, began instantly to demolish the willows, battering, them
with great vehemence, and uttering a loud piteous kind of cack-


















Ts the Woodpecker Happy ? 81





ling similar to that of ahen when she is alarmed and takes to wing.
Poor Baron Trenck never laboured with more eager diligence at
‘the walls of his prison than this son of the forest in his exertions
for liberty; and he exercised his powerful bill with such force,
digging into the sticks, seizing and shaking them so from side
to side, that he soon opened for himself a passage; and though
I repeatedly repaired the breach, and barricaded every opening
in the best manner I could, yet on my return into the room I
always found him at large, climbing up the chairs. Having
placed him in a strong wire cage, he seemed to give up all hope
of making his escape, and soon became very tame; fed on young
ears of Indian corn: refused apples, but ate the berries of the
sour gum greedily, small winter grapes, and several other kinds
of berries; exercised himself: frequently in climbing, or rather
hopping perpendicularly along the sides of the cage; and as
evening drew on, fixed himself in a high hanging or perpen-
dicular position, and slept with his head on his wing. He was
beginning to become very amusing, and even sociable, when,
after a lapse of several weeks, he became drooping, and died,
as I conceived, from the effects of his wound.”

Mary. What a pity to have shot at such a bird!

Tom. The newspapers have lately told us that the inhabit-
ants of Philadelphia have introduced from England, at consider-
able cost, a colony of common sparrows, to keep down the
redundant insect life, which threatens to destroy all the most
beautiful flowering trees in that city and the neighbourhood.
But it would seem that some provision has been already made
in this direction by that Divine Providence which so wonderfully
maintains the balance of creation. Hear what Wilson says





Il










82 The Downy Woodpecker.





about that energetic carpenter, the downy woodpecker: ‘‘ The
principal characteristics of this little bird, are diligence, famili-
arity, perseverance, and a strength and energy in the head and
muscles of the neck which are truly astonishing. Mounted on
the infected branch of an old apple-tree, where insects have _
lodged their corroding and destructive broods in ‘crevices
between the bark and wood, he labours sometimes for half an
hour incessantly at the same spot before he has succeeded in
dislodging and destroying them. At these times you may walk
up pretty close to the tree, and even stand immediately below
it, within five or six feet of the bird, without in the least
embarrassing him; the strokes of his bill are distinctly heard
several hundred yards off; and I have known him to be at work
for two hours together on the same tree. Buffon calls this
‘incessant toil and slavery;’ his attitude ‘a painful posture ;’
_and his life ‘a dull and insipid existence;’ expressions. im-
proper because untrue, and absurd because contradictory. . The
posture is that for which the whole organization of his frame is
particularly adapted; and though to a wren or a humming-bird
the labour would be both a toil and a slavery, yet to him it is, arn
convinced, as pleasant as the sucking of flowers to the humming-
bird. The eagerness with which he traverses the upper and
lower side of the branches; the cheerfulness of his cry; and the
liveliness of his motions, while digging into the tree and dis-
_ lodging the vermin, justify this belief. About the middle of
May, the male and female look out for a suitable place for the
reception of their eggs and young. An apple, pear, or cherry
tree, often in the near neighbourhood of the farm-house, is’
generally pitched upon for this purpose. The tree is minutely












The die of Creation. 83





reconnoitred for several days previous to the operation, and the
work is first begun by the male, who cuts out a hole in the solid
wood, as circular as if described with a pair of compasses. He
is occasionally relieved by the female, both parties working with
the most indefatigable diligence. The direction of the hole, it |
made in the body of the tree, is generally downwards, by an’
angle of thirty or forty degrees, for the distance of six or eight
inches, and then straight down for ten or twelve more; within
_ roomy, capacious, and as smooth as if polished by the cabinet-
maker: but the entrance is judiciously left just so large as to
_ admit the body of the owner. During this labour they regularly
carry out the chips, often strewing them at a distance, to prevent
suspicion. This operation sometimes occupies the chief part of
aweek. The female, before she begins to lay, often visits the
place, passes out and in, examines every part, both of the
exterior and interior, with great attention, as every prudent
tenant of a new house ought to do, and at length takes complete
possession. The eggs are generally six, pure white, and laid
_ on the smooth bottom of the cavity.”’

Papa. There seems to be something sorrowful; and the type
of bitter melancholy, in the decay of some species of birds, and
their entire removal from the haunts they once favoured. The
dodo has gone for ever, and it is now with some naturalists a
matter of doubt whether it ever existed. Eagles were once very
common on the mountains of England and Scotland. The beau-
tiful swans have disappeared from the waters of the Mincio and
the marshes of Mantua. “In vain,’ says Michelet, “the:
traveller would seek for the snow-white flotillas which once

covered the Italian lakes with their sails.’ The heron, in the
















84 , Antediluvrian Birds. «





Middle Ages, was fallen from the high estate which he held in
‘Greece;-and when his knowledge of the weather was thought to
surpass that-of the gravest augurs ; but still he kept his beauty
and his heavenward flight. He was still a prince, a feudal bird.
Now he has virtually lost two kingdoms: France, where he only .
appears as a migratory visitor, and England, where his mate
reluctantly deposits her eggs. It is said that there is now but
one heronry in all France. A wood between Rheims and .
Epernay conceals the last asylum where the poor nenely bird
mourns his misfortunes and hides his loves.

Zom. By-the-by, we do not give sufficient eae to. the
work of birds in the preparation of our globe ‘for the. habitation —
of man. We know that there were once floundering in the vast
mud-banks and shallows of the earth grim slimy monsters of
the crocodile kind. .These could only live for the most part and
crawl half imbedded in the earth. But there flourished at the
the same time mighty birds that seemed equally at home in
three elements. They paddled in the waters; they flew aloft
into the air; and they walked the earth. The monsters of the -
deep could not follow them, whilst they seem to have hunted the
others without mercy. They caused them to perish from the face
of creation, and then they gradually disappeared themselves.

Ldith. When some time ago I travelled in Egypt, I found
that all kinds of birds were protected and loved by the inhabit-
ants. They seemed to have none of that dread of man which
characterises so many of the feathered tribes in England. -The
country fellah has birds everywhere about him. If it were not
for the beneficent chemistry of these multitudinous scavengers,
the plague of frogs, flies, and the death of the first-born, would








The Extinction of

Certain Birds.













































































KuAAPHARGT 02
=
vee

Mean,

. THE IBIS.







be repeated every hot season. They area great purifying army.
Why does the humble Copt see without emotion the fruit
beaten down from his date palm? Why does the crow perch














86 - Birds Protected in Egypt.





without rebuke on the horn of his buffalo and the hump of his -
camel? His religious instincts and his common sense combine
to make him respect the crows and the pigeons. In Cairo, the
turtle doves may be seen nestling on the window-shutters in
“narrow streets, and at’ the entrances of noisy bazaars. The
uproarious rites of marriage festivals have for these pleasant
little creatures no terrors. Whatever may be the other
conditions of Egyptian society, there is certainly a humanizing
tenderness towards all the feathered tribes, The eagle himself
dozes in peace upon the minarets of the mosque. In fact, the —
bird is a sanitary institution, an instrument of Providence to
maintain uninjured the frail lamp of life in childhood and old
age, He quickens the transmutation of dead and putrefying
substances. The land burns as with flame, and the plague follows —
death and corruption. But the bird feeds upon the spoils of the
destroying angel before decay has become pestilential, and the
Egyptian cherishes the life of his feathered neighbour because
it has helped to preserve his own.
Lom. We are informed in the Pall Mall Gazette, that the
usefulness of small birds as destroyers of insects and caterpillars
is thoroughly recognised by the government of Saxony, and
was shown. by a curious scene lately witnessed in the market-
place of Dresden. A body of police suddenly made their ap-
pearance, and, without any previous warning, seized all the cages
containing singing birds exposed for sale, and released their
inmates. A decree has also been issued, forbidding, under the —
penalty of a fine, the killing or trapping of these useful songsters,
and containing severe regulations with regard to bird-nesting.
Mary. J should rejoice if such a law were enforced here.


















The Eagle. 87





Papa. J am glad to hear that, and I am sorry to find that
there is not a better public opinion with regard to birds in
France and England. Iam told that the Bois de Boulogne is
‘at this moment swarming with caterpillars, yet that five
thousand rooks were shot there not many days ago. In the
neighbourhood of London, loafing scamps invade private
gardens and lawns early in the morning, before the servants of
the house are up, and set snares, traps, and nets of all kinds to
catch the birds which the owner would willingly preserve. The
police, I am sorry to say, are not sufficiently numerous to arrest
these impudent trespassers. ;

Tom. Isaw by the daily papers that some of the Clapham
gardeners lately joined in giving a party of these marauders a
rough reception. They speedily drove the idle fellows out of
the locality. The gardeners became their own police.

Charlotte. Something was said just now about the eagle
quietly taking his repose on the minarets of the Cairo mosques.
Are there many eagles in England ? . .

Papa. No; they are almost exterminated by the progress of
civilization and the just hatred of the farmer. Occasionally
an eagle is seen in Scotland.

Tom. Why should the farmer hate the eagle so much?

Papa. For areason, I fear, the force of which we must admit.
~ A nest was found on the Peak of Derbyshire. It was made of
great sticks, resting one end on the ledge of a rock, and the
other on two birch trees. Upon these was a layer of rushes,
and over them a layer of heath, and over the heath, rushes
again. Comfortably reposing on the top was a young eagle,
with an addled egg by his side. But what do you think had
















88 Birds—Bashet-makers.

been provided for his dinner? Why, a hare, a young lamb,
and three heath poults! ,.&

Mary. From what you say, we are to infer that the eagle is
what they call a platform builder.

to



Papa. What do you think of birds being basket makers ?
The jay, for instance, upon a platform as a foundation, builds
a rude basket-work of roots thickly matted together. The
missel-thrush is not only a basket maker, but a mason. . He is
_not very accurate in his work. After he has reared a rough










Missel-thrush’s iNest.



EAGLES AND THEIR NEST.

scaffolding of stems, dry grass, and moss, he plasters it all round
with a substantial wall of clay, lining the whole with dry grass.








go Goldsmith on Rooks.



The raven, the crow, and the rook, are also more or less basket
builders and plasterers. Goldsmith gives an animated account
of his own observations on the proceedings of rooks. Edith,
read it for us.

Edith. “1 have often amused myself with observing their
plan of policy from my window in the Temple, that looks upon
a grove where they have made a colony in the midst of the city.
At the commencement of spring, the rookery, which, during the
storms of winter, seemed to have been deserted, or only
guarded by about five or six, like old soldiers in a garrison,
now begins to be once more frequented ; and in a short time all
the bustle and hurry of Tusiness is fairly commenced. Where
| these numbers resided during the
winter is not’ easy to guess: per-
haps in the trees of hedgerows,
to be nearer their food. In spring,
however, they cultivate their na-—
tive trees; and, in places where
they themselves were hatched,
they prepare to propagate a fu-
ture progeny. They keep to-
gether in pairs; and when the
offices of courtship are over, they



and laying. The old inhabitants of the place are all already
provided; the nest which served them for years before, with
a Little trimming and dressing, will serve very well again;
the difficulty of nesting lies only upon the young ones, who
have no nest, and-must therefore get up one as well as they



prepare for making their nests |












Goldsmith on Rooks. 91

_-can. But not only are the materials wanting, but also the place
in which to fix it. Every part of a tree will not do for this
purpose, as.some branches may not be sufficiently forked;
others may not be sufficiently strong; and still others may be
too much exposed to the rocking of the wind. The male and
female, upon this occasion, are, for some days, seen examining
all the trees of the grove very attentively ; and when they have
fixed upon a branch that seems fit for their purpose, they con- -
_ tinue to sit upon and observe it very sedulously for two or three
days longer. The place being thus determined upon, they
begin to gather the materials for their nest, such as sticks and
fibrous roots, which they regularly dispose in the most substan-
tial manner. But here a new and unexpected obstacle arises.
It often’ happens that the young © .
couple have made choice of a place
too near the mansion of an older
pair, who do not choose to be
incommoded by such troublesome
neighbours: a quarrel, therefore,
instantly ensues, in which the old
ones are always victorious. The
young couple, thus’ expelled, are
obliged again to go through the
fatigues of deliberating, examining,
and choosing; and having taken ;
_ care to keep their due distance, the nest begins again, and their
industry deserves commendation. .

‘ But their alacrity is often too great in the beginning; they
soon grow weary of bringing the materials of their nest from






















92 Goldsmith on Rooks.



distant places; and they very easily perceive that sticks may be
provided nearer home, with less honesty, indeed, but some
degree of address. Away they go, therefore, to pilfer, as fast
as they can; and whenever they see a nest unguarded, they:
take care to ro» it of the very choicest sticks of which it is com-
posed. But these thefts never go unpunished; and, probably,
upon: complaint being made, there is a general punishment —
inflicted. I have seen eight or ten rooks come upon such
occasions, and, setting upon the new nest of the young couple,
all at once tear it in pieces in a moment.

“At length, therefore, the young pair find the necessity of
‘going more regularly and honestly to work. While one flies to
fetch the materials, the other sits upon the tree to guard it; and
thus, in the space of three or.four days, with a skirmish now
and then between, the pair have fitted up a commodious nest,
composed of sticks without, and of fibrous roots and long grass
within. From the instant the female begins to lay, all hostilities
are at an end; not one of the whole grove, that a little before
treated her so rudely, will now venture to molest her, so that she
brings forth her brood with patient tranquillity. Such is the .
severity with which even native rooks are treated by each other;
but if a foreign rook should attempt to make himself a denizen
of their society, he would meet with no favour; the whole grove
would at OnEE be up in arms against him, and expel him with-
out mercy.”’

Charlotte. 1am told that some birds show great eo in
weaving and felting their nests. Such are the redbreast and
the yellow-hammer. Others—but I do not think that any of
them are to be found in England—knit and sew through and








Gig
eee
LEI
LL EEE
UGE
Le

TARR

S
TG (es

Ae











































=
SS EES
SS







>
R4
AN

x
iN

ie



P,

ROOKS.




‘they are, not more than





The Goldfinch. 93

through the materials of
their nests in a thousand
directions, that an old lady
to whom one of these fa-
brics was shown, after
admiring its texture for
;some time, asked, in a
tone between jest and ear-
nest, whether it was not
possible to teach these
~ birds to darn stockings!
Freddie. The goldfinch
is avery neat felter. Some
persons think that he lines



PEE ELL OC RSME his nest with thistle-down;
but this must be a mistake, at least with respect to the nests
built in May and early Gin

June, for none of our na-
tive thistles flower before
the end of June, or have
down before.

£idith. Haveyouever
seen the nest of a hum-
ming-bird?

Papa. Yes; and most
curious little structures

an inch in diameter.
The outward coat is



NEST OF GOLDFINCH.










94 . | flumming-birds.





formed of small bits of a kind of bluish-grey lichen that vege-
tates on old trees and fences, thickly glued on with the saliva
of the bird, giving firmness to the whole, as well as keeping out
moisture. Within this are thick matted layers of the fine wings
of certain flying seeds closely laid together: and, lastly, the »
downy substance from the great mullein, and from the stalks of



HUMMING-BIRDS AND NEST.

the common fern, lines the whole. The base of the nest is con-
tinued round the stem of the branch to which it closely
adheres, and, when viewed from below, appears a mere mossy.
knot or accidental protuberance.

Jom. You said, some time ago, that eagles were ‘Betiing
very rare in. England. How about kites?

apa. They are rapidly diminishing, but they are still to be ©
found in the New Forest and other parts of Hampshire,
-and in the wilder districts of Yorkshire. It is greatly admired
by the lovers of rural scenery, and is a fine accessory to the












MoO R. BRAUNER
STON. MANOVER ST.
\RUISLE, Fa.

The Kite. | 95

landscape, and one of the most harmonious appendages of the
forest. Mark how gracefully it sails in circular sweeps through
the air, heightening the effect of some dark forest scene.

Mary. Why is it that it diminishes so rapidly in numbers?

Fapa. | fear that it is shot down by gamekeepers because it
eats the young game; and the farmers show it no mercy because
it carries off young chickens. But, .
‘on the other hand, it is argued
that when game is protected too
much, there is not enough natu-
ral food to provide for all, and
they are consequently. starved and
stunted.

Tom.. For the sake of the poor
kite, it ought to be remembered
that he is an excellent scavenger.
For instance, when the men em-
ployed in curing herrings at | AS
-Inverary retire to their meals, See
half a dozen of these birds have been seen sailing down from
a neighbouring wood, and carrying off the cleanings.

Charlotte. The owl tribe seem to perform the same office in
creation; they keep other. animals in check. They prevent the
over-running oi those species which multiply too quickly.

Tom. They are some of the strangest, queerest birds I ever
saw. I donot wonder that they should have been thought the
emblem of wisdom. I remember a pair that used to live in a
hollow tree in the garden of an old man and his wife who were
friends of mine. Their “tuwhit, tuwhoo,” their blinking eyes,


















96 | Owdls.



that could hardly bear the light of noon, the comical and
: grotesque expression of their faces, with their young one in.
“ehe Packground, used to amuse me greatly. They looked, I
thought, like a trio of sage philosophers.
Charlotte. It appears that some kinds
of owls are only: visitors to this country.

Tom. You know they are night-birds,
and their limbs are admirably formed
to fulfil the tasks appointed them by
Divine Providence. They hunt in the
night. Their sharp vision is exactly
suited to the dull light of the moon.
Their ears are contrived to catch -the
slightest sounds. The texture of their
wings is soft and downy, and they move
through the air gently, like spectres.
The colours of their plumage are all sombre and delicately
undertoned, so that when they approach stealthily and duskily,
their prey receives no warning from the flashing of colour. The
ear and the eye of the white owl are marvels of beauty and
adaptation. They seem to like grouse and rabbits or young
hares best for food, but some of the smaller species feed only ©
upon grasshoppers, beetles, and other insects. They are fond
of fish when they can obtain it. It is true that some of the
owls steal hares and rabbits, but the mischief they do in this
way is amply compensated by the check which théy give to
the over multiplication of mice and shrews, which destroy so
many use:ul plants. They are not ill-natured animals, for it is
said that once a pair of wile owls built their nest in a dovecote. |



TRIO OF OWLS,














Has the Owl been tamed? 97



eh

LONG-EARED OWL.

Four young ones were brought up in this nest, and in other
nests all round were young pigeons; but the owls never
attempted to molest either the parents or the children. They
have been sometimes known, after a night’ s excursion, to carry
home a dozen rats at a time.

Mary. Has the owl ever been tamed?

Papa. Oh, yes; He easily becomes familiar with those who
are kind to him. He will then repose drowsily in an old
chimney corner during the day, growing lively in the evening,
and fearlessly eating with becoming gravity the food provided
by his human hosts.





13










98 Tie Tau Oval





Mary. 1 once saw a tawny owl, or, as he is sometimes called,
the ivy owl. He dwells in dark and gloomy forests of pine.
The tempered light, the grateful shade, and the almost undis-
coverable retreat for its nest, suit its habits exactly. Its
favourite food is rats, but it is very fond of fish.







































































SS

SNOWY OWL AND YOUNG ONES.

Tom. Ay, but he is a clever poacher. In the flower garden
of a nobleman’s park, gold and silver fish were constantly
missed from the ponds. It was supposed that some neighbouring
countrymen came with nets at night, and carried them off.
Some persons were set to watch; they found that the depre-
dator was a brown owl, who waited quietly by the side of the


















Birds, Poets, and Painters. 99



pool until the fish came within reach, and then snapped them
up and flew away with them.

Charlotte. By-the-by, have you remarked how much birds,
as well as quadrupeds, are enlisted by the poet, the painter, and
the sculptor, in order to enhance the beauty of their works ?

Papa. That is, indeed, a large subject, and one upon which
a volume might be written. Do you remember to have seen
any herons standing boldly out in a celebrated picture ?

Edith. Oh, yes! In Raphael’s magnificent cartoon, The
Miraculous Draft of Fishes’’; and observe the sidelong glance of
one of the covey floating in the air just above, as though he
. would like to have a share of the prize. Raphael. must. have
been a diligent student of birds. Nor are the doves figured in
the picture of St. Peter and St. John healing the lame man at
the beautiful gate of the Temple less striking, though I think
the boy is carrying the poor little birds by their legs very
cruelly... 7° : a7

Papa. ~ No writers have introduced bird-lore into their works
with greater ingenuity than the German authors of romance.
Take, for instance, the following passage from Johann August
Muszeus. It was he who parodied Richardson’s Sir Charles
Grandison. ‘“Loveliestof the daughters of princes,”’ said he, as he
entered the audience chamber, ‘the fair ring-dove, queen of
the air, must no longer, as thou well knowest, coo in solitude,
but take to herself a mate- The proud peacock, it is talked,
holds up his glittering plumage in her eyes, and thinks to blind
her by the splendour of his feathers; but she is prudent and
- modest, and will-not unite herself with the haughty peacock.
The keen falcon, once a plundering bird, has now changed his
































100 ; Swallows and Sparrows.





nature; is gentle and honest, and without deceit, for he loves
the fair dove, and would fain that she mated with him. That
his bill is hooked and his talons sharp, must not mislead thee; _
he needs them to protect the fair dove, his darling, that no bird

hurt her, or disturb the habitation of her rule; for he is true.
and kindly to her, and first swore fealty on the day when she

was crowned. Now, tell me, wise princess, if the soft dove

will grant to her trusty falcon the love which he longs for?”

Thesame remark applies to the humorous writings of Richter,

whose style may be pronounced the most untranslatable, not in

German only, but in any other modern literature. I do not

like to trust myself too far into the realm of quotations, or

perhaps I should never get safe home again. ~

Tom. There is an old Latin proverb, “‘ Quot passeres tot
narvatiuncule,’ that is, there are as many stories about as
there are swallows themselves. How many stories. then must
there be, of one kind or another, about all the bird tribes?

Ldith. By-the-by, I have rarely driven with papa through
the West-end squares of London, without seeing a large
number of these pert and lively little feathered friends. I am told
that they make their nests in chimney-stacks and chinks at
the top of the houses.

Tom. Yes, and they belong to the Early Rising Association,
for they delight in being up betimes, singing their morning |
hymn of praise.

Edith. Why is a network of wire placed round the Corin-
thian columns and pilasters of so many houses about Belgrave-
square and Regent’s-park ?

Papa. 1 believe that it is intended to prevent swallows and














Sparrows Useful to the Farmer. IO!r





other birds from building their nests in the leaves and other
ornaments of the capitals.



' SPARROW.

Tom. Are not sparrows most valuable little creatures to the

farmers on account of their extraordinary destruction of cater-
‘pillars and other insects ? : :

Papa. ‘God has wonderfully endowed these little creatures
with the power of clearing trees and crops of injurious grubs and
insects, but too often the unwise farmers destroy their bird
friends by wholesale. :

Edith: \ have heard that some naturalists have examined
the stomachs of some of-these birds and have found them filled
with insects. a; |

- Mary. cannot understand how it is that, in many country
places, there are “‘ Sparrow Clubs’’ for the destruction of these
birds. ph

Papa. The Rev. W. Bingley, the celebrated naturalist, says,




















102 Csefulness of the Sparrow.





‘Few birds are more execrated by farmers, and perhaps more
unjustly so, than the sparrows. Itis true they do some injury in
our rural econo-
my, butthey have
been fully proved
to be much more
useful than they
are noxious.”’
Mr. Bradley,
his ‘ General
: Treatise on Hus-
bandry and Gar-
dening,’’ shows
that a pair of
sparrows, during
the time they
have their young
to. feed, destroy,
on an average, every week, 3,360 caterpillars. This calcula-
tion he found upon actual observation. He discovered that
the two parents carried to the nest forty caterpillars in. an
hour. He supposed the sparrows to enter the nest only during
twelve hours each day, which would cause a daily consumption
of 480 caterpillars. This sum gives 3,360 caterpillars extirpated
weekly from a single garden !

Papa.. There was a Sparrow Club lately held in eats ,
where certain sage taemers met to congratulate each other on
having destroyed 17, 600 sparrows. Let us suppose that each
of these sparrows, if it had not been shot, would have been as











SPARROW FEEDING ITS YOUNG.














Usefulness of the Sparrow. 103





destructive of caterpillars as those named by Mr. Bradley,
how many caterpillars would they have cleared off from the
crops of these wiseacres ?

Ldith. The figures are most astounding,—57,120,000 cater-
pillars weekly /

Tom. The finch or sparrow tribe have never had justice
done to them by writers on natural history. Because they do
‘not sing, and have not such fair plumage as other birds, their
value to mankind has been overlooked.

Papa. Tf the Government had not stepped forward a few
years ago and interdicted the sale of poisoned grain, which was
then'used for killing these poor: birds, we should probably have
had to pay the same penalty as France, where whole districts
have had the crops ravaged by caterpillars.

Tom. The French have learnt wisdom in this matter. They
have now passed laws for the protection of the small birds;
and what is better still, the Government has directed the
schoolmasters to teach the youth of the land to be the protec-
tors of their feathered friends.

_ Papa. Wf all schoolmasters were like Mons. de Sailly, whose
admirable letter on humanity to dumb animals has been very
widely circulated in this country by Miss Burdett-Coutts, we
should soon see a wonderful improvement. in the treatment of
_ both beasts and birds. ,

Tom. Mr. Wood, in his admirable works on ‘ Natural
History,”’ states; ‘In every case where the sparrows have been
extirpated, there has been a proportionate decrease in the
crops from the ravages of insects. At Maine, for example,
the total destruction of the sparrows was ordered by Govern-


















104 Usefulness of the Sparrow:





ment, and the consequence was that, in the succeeding year,
even the green trees were killed by caterpillars; and’a similar
occurrence took place near Auxerre.

Zom. Mr. Wood says, ‘Even in the autumn, the sparrow
does not confine itself to grain, but feeds on various seeds,
such as dandelion, the sow-thistle, and the groundsel, all of
which plants are placed by the agriculturist in the category of
weeds. It also feeds its young with various winged insects,
each of which, if not destroyed, would be the parent of hundreds
of caterpillars, which make such terrible destruction among the’

cabbage and other garden plants.”’

Papa. You often hear of crops of turnips and cabbage being

entirely destroyed by caterpillars, but if you make inquiry you
will, in all probability, learn that the farmer had been shponae
or poisoning the small birds—his best friends.

Charlotte. In Murray’s “ Journal of a Naturalist,’’ he states,
‘T have called sparrows plunderers, and they are so; they are
benefactors likewise, seeming to be appointed by Nature as one
of the agents for keeping from undue increase another race of
creatures, and by their prolificacy they accomplish it. In spring
and the early part of the summer, before the corn becomes ripe,

"they are insectivorous,.and their constantly-increasing families
require an unceasing supply of food. We see them every
minute of the day in continual progress, flying from the nest
for a supply, and returning on rapid wing with a grub, a cater-
pillar, or some reptile; and the numbers captured by them in
the course of these travels are incredibly numerous, keeping
under the increase of these races, and making restitution for
their plunderings and thefts.’










SPARROW, : P, 104.








The Free Sparrow. 105





‘Charlotte, The tree sparrow is not so common in England
as the house sparrow. oo



TREE SPARROW.

Papa. The following remarkable fact was communicated -
some time ago to the Fre/d newspaper by a Cornish gentleman.
He states :—‘‘ A Norwegian brig put into Penzance a few days
since, and among other incidents of the voyage between Norway





14










106 The Tree Sparrow at Sea.



and England, the master of the vessel mentioned that, midway
between the two countries, thousands of small sparrows paused
and alighted on the ship, covering the deck and rigging. The
birds were exhausted, and soon died; and some half-dozen were
kept, from mere curiosity, to show to friends. These were brought
for my inspection, a day or two since, by a person who begged
them of the captain to show me. The six specimens were all
Passer montanus, the tree sparrow, the mountain sparrow of:
Bewick. ;

Papa. Let me close this evening’s conversation by shewing
you a clever little engraving of a sparrow’s nest.. .
















Our Song-Birds,

107

























































































































































































































































































































































































CONVERSATION IV.



Papa. Suppose that now we enter upon another subject, and
say something about our song-birds. The thrush has always
















108 : Varieties of Thrushes.

been a favourite with me. Some kinds have a delicate,
pensive, and melancholy note. Others possess considerable
compass of voice; trilling out sweet melodies of love to their
mates. In spite of their feeding occasionally upon fruits and
vegetables, they are useful to the gardener, for nothing pleases
them more than a rich fat slug, or a succulent caterpillar.

Tom. \ confess, for my part, the common thrush or black-
bird is also a favourite with me; for wher his supply of victuals
runs short, he’ll come into the farmyard, and take his chance
with the hens and other poultry: The fieldfare and redwing
are, I believe, migratory thrushes, visiting us in winter, and
going away to breed and to spend the summer. Thus you see
that the love of a foreign tour is not confined to man, the
featherless biped. The song-thrush seems to be a worshipper
of the sun, pouring out early in the morning with swelling
throat a delicious love song and teaching to echo a_ sweet
goodnight, when the orb of day declines.

Charlotte. 1 am told that the song-thrush has one eee
habit, which should,make him respected, and secure for him
kind and generous treatment, and a share of the crumbs which
fall from the rich man’s table. If the weather is dull, warm,
close, sinless—if it depresses the spirit and irritates the brain—
the song-thrush will, nevertheless, continue its clear and deep- .
toned song all day. |

Papa. The following narrative, which I have found in the
‘‘ Naturalist’s Library,” is very interesting. The male parent
continues his song near his mate during the greater part of
hatching-time, but flies to her assistance upon any alarm; and
both will attack and endeavour to drive off an intruder by their


































































































































































































































































































































































































































THRUSH. . P. 180.










The Golden Oriole. 109







screams. The female at first, and when unsuspicious of
danger, allows a close approach to her nest; and if situated
-in’a public place or garden, where persons are frequently
passing, becomes a familiar and apparently unconcerned spec-
tator. ‘‘In our own garden,’’ says the ‘“ Naturalist,’’ ‘last
spring (1837), a somewhat singular circumstance occurred.
The nest was placed in a common laurel bush, within easy
reach of the ground, and being discovered, was many times
daily visited by the younger branches of our family. It
occurred to some that the poor thrush would be hungry with a
seat so constant, and a proposal was made to supply the want.
A good deal of difficulty occurred from the fear of disturbing —
her, but it-was at last proposed that the food should be tied to
the end of a stick; this was done, and the bird cautiously
approached, and took thé first offering. The stick was
. gradually. shortened, and in a few days the thrush fed freely
from the hand till the young were half-fledged. After this,
when the parent was more frequently absent, a visit would
immediately bring both male and female, who now uttered
angry cries, and struck at the hand when brought near the
‘nest. This bird is frequently kept in confinement, and if
placed in a roomy cage, and kept clean, is a tolerable songster.
It is a bird, however, which we never like to see confined, and ~
whose notes in this state can never be relished if they have
been previously listened to in its native haunts,”’

freddie. Can you give us any account of the golden oriole?

Papa. Yes; but we can hardly .call him a British bird.
His favourite haunts seem to be the south of Europe, and
it is very rarely that he wanders to this country.
















rIO The Golden Oriole.

Tom. If you
consult (Yarrell’s
“ British Birds,”
you will find along
list of placesin Eng-
land where speci-
mens of this beau-
tiful bird have been
met with, but J re-
gret to add that in’
nearly every in-
stance it is said,
“The bird was
shot.’ Is it not.
strange that man

should take delight
in thus destroying
the lovely birds
which seeth to ask
for shelter- at our

















































































































































hands? - s
Charlotte. Vt. is
probable that if the



















gun had not been
used, the lovely
oriole might now
have been amongst
GOLDEN ORIOLE. se our common visi-_
tors.


















The Whthshab aia ar shar: ‘as

Mary. When does the whin-chat pay us a visit ?

Papa. Usually in the month of April. It has the power of
‘imitation, and can sing the notes of several birds. It is a friend
to the farmer, for it is fond of slugs, insects, and shell-bearing
molluscs. In appearance, it is very much like the stone-chat.

4







ENO GES
GOVE

WHIN-CHAT. = : STONE-CHAT,

Tom. What is a stone-chat? é
Papa. Itis a very curious bird, frequenting solitary moor-
‘lands, wastes, and commons. But you must not call it a bird of
‘song. I do not remember ever to have seen one. The wheat-
ear, fallowsmith, white-tail, or white-rump, is more common.
It likes to breed in holes and among rocks and stones. It is








i . The Robin Red-breast.





one of the earliest of our summer visitants. For my own part, of:
all these varieties of birds, I like best the robin red-breast. -

Freddie. Ever since I was a little boy, and read the story of
the “Babes in the Wood,” I have always felt a lively interest
in the robin.

Tom. Last winter, one nice little fellow used to hop in through
my window when I opened it. I used to give him some bread
‘crumbs and other tit-bits of food. The little creature seemed to
be quite comforted by the warmth of the room. He admired a
cheerful fire, and warbled sweet notes if there was a good
blaze. At first he was very, watchful and wary, ‘but he soon
gained confidence, and then was a most pleasant companion.
He liked to roost on the top of acurtain or the edge of a cornice.

Mary. Robins apparently don’t mind the bustle of labour
and the noise of a farm-yard. They have been known to build
their nests in an old-fashioned saw pit, and to sit quietly within
a yard of the sawyers at their occupation. .

Charlotte. There was an account in the newspaper lately of »
a robin having built its nest in the framework of a railway
truck! The eggs were hatched, and the young ones were
safely reared, although the truck sometimes travelled ee
miles and back in the day!

Freddie. Everybody likes the robin; but, after all, he is
not a good-natured bird. He’ll do battle almost to the death
for an earthworm or a slug. If he is placed in an aviary
with other small birds, he often makes himself so obnoxious
that he has to be removed: If in winter one is admitted as a
visitor to a house, he won’t let any other robin share the
hospitality afforded him. © oo






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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Il2,

P.

ROBIN RED-BREAST.












REDSTART.

4Afary. Is not a redstart something like a robin? .

_ Papa. Yes; his plumage, I am told, is something like it,
but I never saw one. I believe they are very scarce.

Tom. Of all the birds that I ever hear sing, the nightingale
is to me the sweetest. Just as a plain woman may be delight-
fully sweet-tempered and sing like an angel; just as sometimes
a disagreeable-looking fellow turns out to be a poet of high
order, or a giant in philosophy, so this far-famed-songster is an
ordinary unattractive little animal, shy in its manners, and
wearing the dress of a Quaker.

15










II4 The Nightingale and Lark,





Edith. Weare told by Mr. Young that it likes the grounds
of the market-gardeners near London, filling them with its
rapturous song. |

Tom. Yes, but my experience is, that if buildings become
too numerous, and gas-lights impregnate the air with ill-smells,
the nightingale retires, and finds new spots in which to
sojourn. . .

Mary. 1 think that we may learn this moral from the
nightingale—that fine clothes and agreeable manners do not
always go together. A plain-looking girl may be a
delightful companion. The peacock, though his plumage is so
fine, is by no means a pleasant bird. The nightingale, in
Michelet’s opinion, is not the chief, but the only one, of the
winged people to whom the name of artist can be justly given.
And why? He alone is a creator; he alone varies, enriches,
amplifies his song, and augments it by new strains. He alone —
is fertile and diverse in himself; other birds are so by instruction
and imitation. He alone resumes, contains almost all; each of
them, of the most brilliant, suggests a couplet to the nightingale.
Only one other bird, like him, attains sublime results in the
bold and simple—the lark, the daughter of the sun. And the
nightingale also is inspired by the light; so that, when in cap-
tivity, alone, and deprived of love, it suffices to unloose his song.
Confined for a while in darkness, then suddenly restored to the
day, he runs riot with enthusiasm, he bursts into hymns of joy.
This difference, nevertheless, exists between the two birds: the
lark never sings in the night ; hers is not the nocturnal melody,
the hidden meaning of the grand effects of evening, the deep

-poesy of the shadows, the solemnity of midnight, the aspirations
















The Nightingale and Lark. 115







- NIGHTINGALE.

before dawn—in a word, that infinitely varied poem which
translates and reveals to us in all its changes a great heart brim-
ful of tenderness. The lark’s is the lyrical genius; the night-
ingale’s, the epic, the inner struggle,—from thence, a light apart.
In deep darkness, it looks into its soul—into love, soaring at
times, it would seem, beyond the individual love into the ocean
of love infinite.










r16 Characteristics of the Nightingale.



Tom. We expect the nightingale to arrive about the 1oth of
April in every year. I have never been able to understand why
it is that the husband always comes ten days or thereabouts
before his bride. I believe that he comes a few days later in
the season, if strong winds blow in the Channel.



ay
. (J iS







NIGHTINGALE’S NEST.

Edith. \am very glad of one thing: that he is an exceed-
ingly difficult bird to feed when in a state of captivity. Hence,
many bird-fanciers decline to keep him, and he is allowed to
roam free in the woods, singing the song of liberty and love,
_and not wailing in slavery. — ~

Mary. Why is it that so many poets have thought the night-
ingale a melancholy, sad bird? Milton speaks of him as being
‘“most musical, most melancholy.’’ Robert Pollok alludes to
his “dying melody of grief.’ Coleridge, on the other, hand,
speaks of him as “the merry nightingale, with fast thick warble,
and delicious notes’’—












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page 116.

NIGHTINGALE.






Song of the Nightingale. 117





“Fearful lest an April night

Should be too short for him to utter forth
His love-chant, and es his full soul
Of all its music.’

Papa. The occasions when the poor bird’s song seems full
of anguish and pain are chiefly those when some wanton boy



has plundered her nest, or some scoundrel of a bird-catcher has
trapped her mate and carried him off. Thus Thomson describes

her in the well known lines: = 7

“Hark! How the nightingale Jaments

Her ruin’d care,—too delicately framed

To brook the harsh confinement of the cage!

Oft when, returning with her loaded bill,

The astonished mother finds a vacant nest,

By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns

Robb’d—to the ground her vain provision falls :
_ Her pinions ruffle, and, low drooping, scarce

Can bear the mcusner to the popla r shade ; ~






















118 - _ The Nightingale





Where, all abandoned to despazr, she sings

Her sorrows through the night; and on the bough,
Sole sitting, still, at every dying fall,

Takes up again her /amentable strain

Of winding woe; till, wide around, the woods
Sigh to her song, and with her waz/ resound!”

Charlotte. Do you remember giving us Sarah Austin’s ©
translation of that pretty little German book called “A story
without an end’’? There is a sweet passage in it which I
will read to you, and which proves the nightingale not to be
always melancholy. ‘ There was no end to the child’s delight.
The little birds warbled and sang, and hopped about; and
the delicate wood-flowers gave out their beauty and their
odours. Every sweet sound took a sweet odour by the hand, and
thus walked through the open door of the child’s heart. The
nightingale sang of nought but love, and the lily breathed of
nought but innocence: and he was the bridegroom and she was
the bride. And the nightingale was never weary of repeating
the same sentiments a hundred times over, for the spring of
love Which gushed from his heart was ever new; andthe lily
bowed her head bashfully, that no one might see her glowing
heart. And the one lived so solely and entirely in the other, that
no one could see whether the notes of the nightingale were
floating lilies, or the lilies visible notes fading lke dewdrops
Jrom the nightingale’s throat. The child’s heart was full of joy,
even to the brim.”

Tom. You have remarked, Papa, that birds, like four-footed
animals, are employed by poets and novelists to enhance the
beauty of their creations. So Mr. Browning, in the “ Ring and














11g



fate

TURTLE-DOVES.,



the Book,” amidst many like beautiful passages, says, in regard

to a dove startled into motherhood,—












120 Birds and the Poets.





“Strange yearnings come
Tor the unknown shelter by undreamed of shores, ~
And there is born a blood-pulse in her heart
To fight, if needs be, though with flap of wing,
For the wool flock or the fur tuft ; though a hawk
Contest the prize, wherefore she knows not yet.”

Papa. J have always thought that another line of his, with

its alliteration of liquids,—

“OQ lyric love, half angel and half bird,”—

depended, for what I must venture to call the Hine. of the
sense, as distinct from the rhythm of the eye on the contrast
between the angel and the bird.

Tom. And observe how the richness of the description of
the burial-place of a noble family is enhanced by the introduc-
tion of birds into the scene. It is to be found in one of
Alexander Dumas’ wildest romances: ‘‘ Behind the chapel
extended, surrounded by two high hedges of nut-trees, elders,
white thorns, and a deep ditch, the little enclosure—uncultivated,
it is true, but gay in its sterility; because the mosses there were
high, because the wild heliotropes and ravenelles there mixed
their perfumes, because beneath the tall chestnuts issued a large
spring—a prisoner in a cistern of marble—and that upon the
thyme all around alighted thousands of bees from the neigh-
bouring plains, whilst chaffinches and red-throats sang cheerfully
among the flowers of the hedge. It was to this place the two
coffins were brought, attended by a silent and respectful crowd.
The office of the dead being celebrated, the last adieux paid,
the peasantry departed, talking, along the roads, of the virtues
and mild death of the father, of the hopes the son had given,
and of his melancholy end upon the coast of Africa.”












Songs of the Birds. 121





Mary. wish that authors would more generally use their
pens in pointing out the claims which our feathered songsters
have on society at large.

apa. The way in which two or three little birds can fill a



LITTLE SONGSTERS.

whole grove with sound, the way in which we can hear the lark,
who, like a good Christian,—

“The higher she rises, the sweeter she sings,

And she sings when we see her no more,”—
has always been a wonder and a marvel to me. As Toussnel
says, ‘The smallest bird in this matter shames the strongest
quadruped. Place mea chained lion in a balloon, and his harsh





16












122 The Wings of Birds.





roaring will be lost in space. Far more powerful in voice and
respiration, the little lark mounts upwards, trilling its song. Its
light and joyous strain uttered without fatigue, and costing
nothing, seems the bliss of an invisible spirit, which would fain -
console the earth.”’

Edith. ‘Nhen I was abroad, I heard a great deal about
experiments being made to imitate the economy of the wing of

the bird, especially the martinet
bird, otherwise called the frigate

bird, which flies with almost in-
credible swiftness. But-no enthu-
siastic experimentalist in the art of
flying was killed, as far as I learnt,

for none ventured to start at a

height of more than ten feet from

the ground.

Papa. But suppose a man made wings proportionately as
strong as those of a bird, he would not be able to fly, because
the capacity of his lungs is small compared with that of the
bird. Divine Providence has given the bird a secret auxiliary
concealed in the feathers'and the bones. The bird can inflate
these at pleasure with air, warmed, and therefore lighter than _
the atmospheric air. Then the bird, while swiftly cleaving the
ocean of atmosphere, creates a current of air that sweeps through
its lungs with constantly revivifying swiftness. Rapid motion
seems to be bound up with the very life of many birds. The
lark never sings so cheerfully as when she is rising through
belts of atmosphere, varying, like the temperature of an old
Roman bath, from hot to cold and from cold to hot.



WING.








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































ays





















































4





“SKY-LARK,

P, 122.














ROBIN IN WINTER.

Zom. I have often remarked that the trill of a song-bird
is more piercing, and may be heard at a greater distance, than
the roar or lowing of many large quadrupeds. One might
almost compare it to a railway whistle, except that the sound
is sweet and melodious instead of being positively injurious to

°












124 Why do Birds Sing ?





THRUSH.

the ears of many. How exquisite, then, must be the construc-
tion of the bird’s little throat! Even the storms of winter
do not prevent the robin from carolling forth his lovely song.

Edith. Why do birds sing?

Afary. J suppose that as love is a great promoter of music,
and all harmonies are akin to love, so the bird sings when he is
making a proposal to his future bride. The bride sometimes
sings when she is happy in the thought of having a good hus-












Tennyson and the Blackbird. 125





band, and the parent sings when he sees the eggs all safe in his
nest.

Zom. One of the earliest of our oe feathered songsters
is the blackbird. I used once sometimes to rob the nest of
this poor bird of its contents. I am now very sorry that I ever
did so, but I will never commit such an act of cruelty any more.

Charlotte. But would not blackbirds increase beyond all
bounds if they were not thinned off in some way or other ?

Zom. That may be true; but, at any rate, I do not think that
it is any part of my office to perform the part of executioner.

fapa. understand that in regard to blackbirds, and many
other feathered tribes, instinct, which is but. another name for
God’s Providence, sometimes performs this office for us. Their
instinct with regard to the preservation of their offspring is
somewhat imperfect: the little birds, not having sufficient care,
die off, and so their too great increase is prevented.

Charlotte. 1 cannot bear to see a poor blackbird in captivity.
Tennyson, our poet laureate, whose song is, I think, as sweet
as that of any bird, sings nobly when he writes :-—

“Oh! blackbird, sing me something well ;
While all my neighbours shoot thee round,
I keep smooth plots of fruitful ground,
Where thou mayst warble, eat,-and dwel'.”

Mary. The following quotation from Macgillivray contains
lessons from which we may all derive advantage. The words
do one’s heart good, and I hope we shall all try and learn the
lesson they so plainly teach. ‘‘It is not,’’ says this writer, “in
the wild valley fianked with birchen slopes, and stretching far
















£26 Macgillivray on the Blackbird.





away among the craggy hills, that the music of the blackbird
floats upon the evening breeze. There you may listen,
delighted, to the gentle song of the mavis; but here in this
plain, covered with corn-fields and skirted with gardens, sit thee
down on the green turf by the gliding brook, and mark the
little black speck, stuck, as it were, upon the top twig of that
tall poplar. It is a blackbird; for now the sweet strain, loud,
but mellowed by distance, comes upon the ear, inspiring
pleasant thoughts, and banishing care and sorrow. The bird
- has evidently learned his part by long practice; for he. sits
sedately, and in full consciousness of superiority. Ceasing at
intervals, he renews the strain ; varying it so that, although you —
can trace an occasional repetition of notes, the staves are never
precisely the same. You may sit an hour, or longer, and yet
the song will be continued; and in the neighbouring gardens
many rival songsters will sometimes raise their voices at once, .
or delight you with alternate strains. And now what is the pur-
pose of all this melody? We can only conjecture that i ds the
expression of the perfect happiness which the creature ts enjoying, when,
uncarked by care, conscious of security, and aware of the pre-
sence of his mate, he instinctively pours forth his soul in yoy and
grattude and love. He does not sing merely to amuse his mate,
as many have supposed—for he often sings in winter, when he
is not yet mated; nor does he sing to beguile his solitude, for
now he is not solitary; but he sings because all his wants are
satisfied, his whole frame glowing with health, and because his
Maker has gifted him with the power of uttering sweet sounds.”’

Papa. What a lovely description of the blackbird! I should
like it to be read aloud in every school in the land.












a eghtee





VES

Me See

sis

Pp. 1206.



BLACKBIRDS.








Birds named from their Notes. 127



CONVERSATION V. oO

Edith. \ suppose that blackbirds and robin-redbreasts are
called so from the prevalent tint of their feathers. Are any
birds so called from their notes ?














128 - Talking Birds.



Papa. Yes; the wheat-ear makes a noise which may be
expressed thus: wheet—jur, wheet,
jur—yur ; at least, so says Blyth,
the eminent naturalist. So also
the stone-chat makes a rattle on
the stones, which the imaginative
peasants of old thought to express
by the name of stone-chat.

Tom. I cannot help thinking
that the crvow was also so. called
from the noise which he makes.
The Romans called him corvus,
which echoes the sense still more

closely. The same remark applies to the cuckoo. Skinner says
the daw is so named from its

note, but others give the word a
different derivation.

Papa. I think we must not
pursue this point too far, for fear
we should get into an etymologi-
cal labyrinth. No study requires
more caution than that which
inquires how words came to mean
various things: For any thing I
know, a goose may be so called from its peculiar hiss ; and birds
have certainly methods of communicating with each other—of
sounding the alarm in case of danger, and of calling their mates.

Tom. Why should we not devote a little time to the birds
who talk ?



WHEAT-EAR.



CUCKOO,












Talking Birds. 129





Edith. 1 think these are the funniest animals in the world.
’ Take, for instance, the various
kinds of parrots. The Greeks
used to call them anthropoglots,
that is, men-tongues, from the
likeness of their fleshy tongues
to our own. I have heard that
King Henry VIII. had a par-
rot that used to say ‘Give the
knave a groat.’’ Then there is a
story told of one that telonged
to a cardinal, that could repeat
the Apostles’ Creed. Another,
in India, used to say “ Bismillah!’ like a strict Mahometan,
every morning, before he ate a morsel of his breakfast. In
ancient Rome, they used to make the houses and streets of the
imperial capital ring with their cry, “ Cesar, Ave!’’ that is,
‘Hail, Ceesar.”’ It was probably a parakeet, says the learned
Mr. Broderip, that turned the heart of the Oriental emperor
Basilius, by repeating, for his condemned and incarcerated son
Leo, those lamentations which it had learned from the sorrow-
ing women ; a son whom he again took to his bosom, leaving
him the empire asan inheritance. There were evidently schools
for these feathered scholars. Aélian says they were taught like
boys.

Mary. Parrots, sometimes, really seem to understand the
words that they are taught. I have read of a curious case
where a parrot imitated the voice of its master, and called out
for the dog, ‘Carlo! come here, Carlo!’? Immediately the



PARKOT,




















130 Talking Birds.

dog made its appearance, and looked about anxiously for its

- master. The parrot now screamed out, ‘“ Off to your kennel,
sir!” The poor dog slunk away quite frightened, and the
parrot set up a loud laugh, exactly like a human being.

Papa. Unhappily, parrots are often taught to be mischievous,

and in many cases to repeat bad words, by those who ought to
know better.

Papa. Mr. Broderip also quotes from Clusius the following
prétty story of a parakeet, out of the
old.naturalist Willoughby’s transla-
tion of the discourse of that author.
This bird was most likely one of the

' red and blue macaw tribe. “ Among
others,’ says Clusius, ‘‘I saw one
of those great ones in the house of
the illustrious lady, Mary of Bre-

.men, Dutchesse of Croy and Ares-

- chot, of happy memory, before she
went out of Holland, thelikewhereto,
for variety and elegancy of colours,

I donot remember to have ever seen. For though almost all the

feathers covering the body were red, yet the feathers of the tail

(which were very long) were partly red and partly blue; but those

on the back and wings, parti-coloured, of yellow, red, and green,
with a mixture also of blue. Its head about the eyes was white,
and varied with waved black lines. I do not remember the like



PARAKEETS.

parrot described in any other author. Moreover, this bird was

so in love with Anna, the: Dutchesse’s niece, now Countess of
Meghen and Baroness of Grosbeke, that whenever she walked














Talking Birds. roy





about the room it would follow her, and if it saw any one touch
her cloaths, would strike at him with its bill; so that -it seemed
possessed with a spirit of jealousie.”’

Mary. Mr. Broderip, quoting Le Vaillant, gives a charming
account of the manners of an African species in a state of
nature. ‘The robust parrot,” says he, “haunts the woods of
the eastern part of the continent as high as the thirty-second
degree of latitude, in the breeding season, only leaving them at
the approach of the rainy season, after it has brought up its
young, for warmer skies. “A hollow tree is, as usual, the recep-
tacle for the eggs, which are four in number, and about the size
of those of a pigeon: both parents share in the pleasing care
of incubation. The nestlings are naked when they first quit the
eggs, and are soon covered with a greyish down; but their
plumage is not complete till six weeks have elapsed, and they
keep to the nest a considerable time longer, during which period
‘they are fed from the crop of the old ones, like the pigeons.
When the periodical migration takes place, the flocks fly so
high that they are lost to the sight, though their call-notes still.
reach the ear. The history of their day is not uninteresting. At
dawn, the whole flock of the district assembles, and with much
noise settles on one or more dead trees: there they display their
wings to the first rays of the sun, whose rising they seem to hail.
They are then drying their plumage charged with the night
dews. As soon as they are warmed and dried, they separate
into small breakfast parties, and fly in quest of their favourite
cherry-like fruit, the stone of which they crack, and regale on
the kernel. They like to linger over their breakfast, which
continues till about ten or eleven o’clock; and the different —


















132 Parakeets‘ and Love-birds.

parties then go to take their bath. The heat by this time is
getting intense, and they-retire to the deepest shades of the
woods to take their siesta. There they remain in profound
repose, and all is so still; that the traveller resting beneath a
tree shall not hear a sound, though legions of parrots crowd
the branches above him. The report of a gun instantly puts to
flight the whole flock, screaming most discordantly.

‘* When undisturbed, and their period of rest is terminated,
they again disperse in small dinner parties; and, after the con-
clusion of the evening repast, there is a general assembly of all
the flocks of the district, and a conversazione of considerable
animation: this ended, away they all fly to take their second
bath, and there they may be seen on the margin of the limpid
pool—for no water that is not “clear as diamond-spark”’ will
please them—scattering the water-drops over their plumage with
their heads and wings, and playfully rolling over each other in
all the wantonness of an unchecked game of romps. This
finished, they again seek-the leafless trees on which they sat at
sunrise, and dress and preen their feathers in its parting rays.
Then, as the shades of evening close around, they fly off in
pairs, each couple retiring to its own roosting-place, where they
repose till dawn.”

Ldith. I once heard of an amusing way in which a gentle-
man who had a pair of love-birds managed to keep one alive
after the death of its mate. You know they are so deeply
attached to each other, that if one departs this life, the other
almost invariably follows in the course of a few days. This fact
shows that they are possessed of deep affections, and ought to
secure for them good treatment. He had a little mirror placed
































































































i i
‘

















































































































































































PR. 132.

LOVE-BIRD AND MIRROR,






Were Turkeys known to the Ancients? 133



in the cage at right-angles with the perch. Thus the survivor,
seeing itself in the looking-glass, was reconciled to life.

Charlotte. Did you ever see a copy of that quaint arabesque
found in the ruins of Pompei, representing a grasshopper in a
car driving a parakeet? All the varieties of parrots then known
were highly prized and splendidly housed. Their cages were
of ivory and gold. They were paraded on the fists of their
luxurious owners; a fact which drew forth the stern rebuke of
Cato the Censor.

Mary. Did the old Greeks and Romans know anything
about the turkey?

fapa. Some maintain that they did. Others, on better
grounds, assert that Lucullus never ate a turkey, but that the
bird, which some suppose to have been’ a turkey, was nothing
but a good fat guinea-hen.

Edith. Norfolk, you know, is a famous county for fat turkeys.
Some say that the family of Sir George Strickland, Baronet,
have a tradition that their forefathers first brought a specimen
of the species into that part of the country, and hence that they
obtained their crest—a turkey-cock inhis pride. But others say
that the story came from the crest, and not the crest from the
fact. Walcott, a writer in the last century, states that they were
first introduced into England in 1521. In 1541, they were
regarded as a great delicacy in common with swans and cranes.
Archbishop Cranmer, in his ordinances for the regulations of
feasts, decreed that there should only appear one dish of each
of these birds at any entertainment. The first intelligence we
have of a turkey in France is in 1556, when the loyal citizens of
Amiens presented twelve of these fowls to the king.




















134 Turkey.












fT ME
on, 2g it
! iy “e

ct np

TURKEY-COCK.

Mary. Why do the French call the male turkey dindon and
the female dinde?
















The ‘Poultry Mania.” 135

Lapa. Probably the word was first written @’/nde, meaning
- that it came from the West Indies.

Tom. What is meant by the “poultry mania?”’

apa. It is a passion for rearing all kinds of poultry, whether
for the purpose of profit or simply for fancy. I cannot think that
it is blameworthy, though called a mania; because it is a good
thing for us to feel pleasure and gratification in caring for and
watching over some pet living thing. - Then it furnishes to
those who have leisure, but not much taste for mental cultiva-
tion, a healthful, and not altogether ‘profitless, enjoyment and
recreation. Let me read a clever bit to the point by a true
naturalist: “It is some comfort to us at the present time to feel
that we can see a bright side and a useful side to the poultry
mania. y xy , We have a strong idea that the love of animals
and the rearing of them are very humanizing and softening
tastes; and that if a mania suggests the caré of them to the
lower classes (who, after their monotonous mechanical toils,
want something 4g to take charge of), it would be doing good
service: those who live amid machinery, looms,, shops, werk-
rooms, and factories, would be benefited by having their ‘pets,’
their domestic animals, at home=-whether fish or fowl, dogs or
rabbits. y , » All these sorts of things do good—have gentle
influences—keep the heart somewhat green in the midst of this
dry, dusty world of ours—draw out feeling, and call forth:a
certain measure of affection. We are convinced that those
who are engaged in the more sedentary trades need something
growing or breathing—something of God’s visible works—to
keep them from depressing or self-centralizing thoughts, or
from vacancy of mind altogether. The mere fact of having to





18












136 Conveyance of Poultry.



take care of things, to feed or to water them, somehow or other

does good: and then there is a response or return in the
favourite animals, or the plant;:the flower breaks forth with
grateful utterances as its leaves: unfold before the master’s eye,
the dog licks its master’s hand, the bird leaps to the side of
the cage and puts its little beak through the bars, or the
fowls come scrabbling and skipping across the yard. There
is sympathy; the workman’s heart is exercised—it is kept
in play—it does not grow quite hard or sour—the principle of
living is preserved to some extent by such means as these; and
if by any means we can but keep a man’s heart softened, and
excite his sympathy in some direction or another; we may hope
for the formation of character, as there is ground to work poy
and even high Christian principles may in time be grafted in.’

Mary. They say that the best cocks and hens in England
are reared in Surrey and Essex. The best geese come from
Lincolnshire and Suffolk. The best ducks from Buckingham-
shire. The best turkeys from Cambridgeshire and Norfolk; while
Essex takes the lead in guinea and pea-fowls.

Edith. Formerly large quantities of geese and turkeys used
to be sent up walking to London; sometimes the poor things
had to travel a hundred miles. Their weight and value were
much deteriorated by the journey, and they were often treated
with great cruelty. Now they are sent by railway-train.

Charlotte. The sharp eye of Mr. Colam, the energetic secretary
of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
lately detected some overcrowded hampers of fowls at one of
the railway stations. He insisted on the hampers being opened,
when, sad to relale; several of the fowls were found to be dead,
















































POULTRY. P. 136.








' Result or. Cruel Packing. 13





and those that were alive were for sometime unable ‘to
stand !










138 ; Punishment Awardal.





Papa. What barbarians the people must have been who
packed the poor birds in sucha way! I am glad to say that
the Society brought the unfeeling monsters before a police

court, and got them properly punished.
Tom. Since we have begun our conversations about animals,



PARTRIDGES.

I have learned a great fact. which I did not realize before,
namely, that cruelty does not fay, and is utterly bad in an

economical point of view.
Mary. Wt is very difficult to estimate the precise quantity of

fowls sold in the great London markets during the year. They
probably amount to seven or eight millions.








Pheasants and Partridgis. 139





Tom. Can partridges and pheasants be properly called
poultry ?



DMG Tt AP ee Ce:

PHEASANTS,

Papa. really think that in many instances they may, in the
present age. The gamekeepers often bring them.up like
chickens, and they are so tame that they will almost take
















140 Poultry, Domestic and Ornamental.





crumbs out of a person’s hand. We may divide poultry into
two general kinds, domestic and ornamental. And yet some.
of the domestic are very ornamental. The common fowl,

































































































































































































































See Le

aie

pa























GUINEA-FOWL.

guinea-fowl, goose, and duck may be regarded as domestic,
and the pigeon, swan, and pea-fowl as ornamental.










Varieties of Swans. I4I























Freddie, I should like to hear something about swans. Why

are some called mutes ?
Papa. 1 suppose because they make no sound. —
Tom. The mute is not absolutely silent. Who has not
heard of the sweet, poetical idea that the swan utters a




















142 Swans valuable in England.





melancholy and melodious wail just before dying? or, as the.
thought is simply expressed in one of our old English
madrigals : i.

“The silver swan which, living, had no note,
When death approached, unlocked her silent throat.”

Mr. Yarrell, the eminent naturalist, positively states that he has -

not unfrequently heard the mute swan sending forth a peculiar,
low, plaintive cry; and another writer adds, that possibly the
note may be more distinct and continuous—in fact a kind of
dirge as the life of the swan slowly ebbs away.

Papa. The swan is very valuable in England. He will soon
clear ponds and other broad pieces of ‘water from weeds,

especially that American plant which seems destined to clog up —

“some of our smaller rivers. I am told that there is an orna-
mental piece of water in the park at Burleigh, which used to
be so overrun with aquatic weeds that three men were employed
six months in the year to keep them under. Two pairs of swans

completely cleared away the weeds the first year, and none have.
since appeared, as they eat them before they rise to the surface. _
Mary. The swan affords a pleasing illustration of the love .

of the mother-bird for its young. The Rev. Thomas Smith, in
‘the Waturalist’s Cabinet, informs us that a fox once attempted
to attack a swan’s nest, at Pensy, in Buckinghamshire, when
the female swan instantly darted into the water, and having

kept the fox at bay for some time with her wings, at last suc-

ceeded in drowning him; after which, in the sight of several
persons, she returned to her nest in triumph. ~The instinct of

motherhood kindles boldness and bravery in the “breast of

the most timid animals.

















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































143

Adventure of a Swan with a Fox. -



















































































































































































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——





















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SWAN AND FOX.:



Edith.

I hope we one and all feel that it is our bounden duty











19










144 The “ Barn-door”’? Fowl.





to treat fowls with kindness, and never to hurt them if we can
help it. I am glad to observe that Dr. Richardson, the eminent
physician, has discovered a method of killing animals suddenly



and without pain. There is no reason whatever why a fowl, on
being killed for food, should suffer a conscious pang in death.

freddie. Why should the flesh of a “‘barn-door’’ fowl be nicer,
than any other?

Mary. \t is probably the most delicate, as it certainly excels
in genuine richness of flavour, because of the full allowance of
the finest grain which barn-door fowls can always procure, as
well as of the constant state of health in which they are kept by
living in accordance with the laws and requirements of nature,
and in full liberty and exercise.














145

Pigeons.







e

BPs NUNN



MW aU

Tom. Have you ever kept pigeons?
Edith. No; I have always felt afraid to keep

them ; they are so very apt to be covered with

tit I,

vermin.
Tom. That is no reason why we should not

keep them, but it is a reason why we should keep



SS
















146 Carrier-pigeons.





them clean. A dove-cot ought to be thoroughly cleaned out
twice a week. I suppose everybody knows what a dove-cot is.
Pigeons like plenty of water, and should be kept continually
supplied with large pans of that precious element. They should
also have a w&zfe platform laid at the
entrance of their home. They are very
fond of that colour, and they can see it
at a considerable distance.

Freddie. 1 should like to: hear some-
thing about carrier-pigeons.

fapa. . Carrier-pigeons were known
in Asia and Africa hundreds of years
ago. I am not certain about the date

Dove cae they were first introduced into Europe.

There is a story of an Eastern Prince who used them in the
time of the Crusades. |

Tom. Before the telegraph was invented I believe hey were
very frequently employed in England to convey messages of
importance. Their wings are much larger and more powerful
than those of ordinary pigeons, and their shoulders and breasts
are stronger. Some say that they can fly at the rate of a hun-
dred miles an hour, but I am rather inclined to doubt the truth
of this statement. a
- Mary. At any rate, they must be able to fly very great
distances, for I have read that a carrier-pigeon once flew all the
way from St. Sebastian, in Spain, to Verviers, in’ Belgium, and
that cannot be less than six hundred miles.

Edith. When Iwas staying at Brussels some time ago, I was
informed that the Belgians have a great passion for. these birds,


















Concluding Observations. 147

\

and constantly test them in going a certain distance in a certain
space of time. Thus some were brought from Antwerp to
London Bridge, and ‘ossed, as the saying is, into the air. More -
than nine-tenths of the birds who were thus flown, arrived at
Antwerp in the course of a few hours!

Papa. I think that now we must close these conversations
on birds for the present. I trust that we shall all for the future
be more tender and considerate to our feathered friends, neigh-
bours, visitants, captives, or whatever else they may be termed.
Theirs is generally a life of free enjoyment among the loveliest
forms of nature. They are a parable, teaching us the providen-
tial care of God towards man. ‘‘Behold the fowls of the air: for
they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet
your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better
than they?’”? They represent the dangers and temptations of
life, which devour the seed of good principles. The patriarchal
poet, Job, apostrophizes them to prove the duty of ready obedi-
ence to the will of God. As they obey the law of their creation,
they teach us our dependence upon the bounty of the Most High.
The eyes of them all wait upon the Lord that they may receive
a blessing; and He fills them with the plenteousness of life.
They imparted rapture to the children of Israel when, during
their wanderings in search of the promised land, and while they
halted, enfeebled with hunger, they suddenly saw stores of
- winged food coming down upon their host—quails rich in nour-
- ishment, a type of the generosity of God. The more I study
them and think about them, the more I love them. They wind
themselves round the heart with a delicate but powerful attrac-
tion. If I am low-spirited, if mental storms sweep over me, I














148 Conclusion.





listen to a bird’s song. Even the homely robin fluttering at the
window-pane can often disenchant a soul of its misery, as David
_tegaled the moody Saul with the music of his lyre. Therefore.
let us all determine that we will respect the birds’-nest, and,
indeed, promote every movement which has for its object the
gentle treatment of all living nature. Our communion and
friendship for each other will, depend upon it, be more true
and permanent in exact. proportion to the earnestness with
which we recognize the claim of .the humblest bird to a share
in the boundless enjoyments scattered oo ny the

Maker-and Redeemer of the universe. : ‘










WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

Fourth Edition. With Illustrations from Drawings by Landseer, Ansdell, Herring, and Weir.
Cloth, 5s.; cloth, gilt edges, 7s. 6d.

— Our Dumb Companions ,

OR, CONVERSATIONS OF A FATHER AND HIS CHILDREN ABOUT.
5 i Docs, HORSES, CATS, AND DONKEYS.

CONTENTS :—The Milk-fetching Dog—How a Pony and a Dog saved a Boy’s Life—Bob,

the Fireman’s Dog—The Lantern Carrier—Tiny and the Prayer Bell—The Boat-fetching
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The Dog Barry, who Saved Forty Persons—The Dog Bass turns Postman—Tray and the
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“ The book itself is as attractive in appearance as itis captivating in its contents. Three-and-twenty exquisite full-

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Cloth, Medallion on Side, gs.; gilt, 7s. 6d.,

Our Dumb Neighbours i

OR, CONVERSATIONS OF A FATHER’ WITH HIS CHILDREN ON
DOMESTIC AND OTHER~ ANIMALS,

ConTENTS.—Introductory—Mr. Waterton on the Black Rat—The Water Vole—Rat-skins

used as a Material for Dress—Terriers and other Dogs—The Skunk—The Stoat—Thieves
stopped by Rats—The Sidney Captain’s Device—Cooper Thornhill’s Corn-rick destroyed by
Rats and Mice—The Weasel—The Ermine Swine—Old Wild Boars—The Carnivorous

power of Swine—Very prolific—Much calumniated—Learned Pigs—Pointer Pigs—A Team

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White Cattle of Chillingham— Herds of Oxen and Cows dangerous when alarmed—Sheep
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Welsh Goats—The Ibis—The Cashmere Goat—The Goat as a performer—The friendly
Goat—The Common Mouse and its Varieties—Harvest Mouse—Barbary Mouse—Hamster—
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derers—Polecat Ferret— Weasel and Rats—Anecdotes of Weasels—Guinea-pig and Hare—

Rabbits—The Squirrel—The Dormouse— Deer, etc.—Conclusion.
WORKS ON KINDNESS TO ae

Mlustrated after Designs by Harrison Weir and hitliaee: In 4h , cloth, §s.; cloth, gilt edges, 7s. 6d.

ANIMAL SRERCIL YS

A Selection of Remarkable Incidents Dhusivbive of the Sagacity of Animals.

EDITED BY MRS. S. C. HALL.

“ Of the few books for children that have appeared this Christmas, Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall’s collection of anecdotes,
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the mind of the little friend to whom she speaks in her dedicatory letter.”.—A theneeum, Dec. 15th, 1866.







Itlustrated from original designs by Harrison Weir. In qo. cloth, 58.3 gilt edges, 7s. 6a.

OUR FOUR-FOOTED FRIENDS.

BY MARY HOWITT.

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Hall’s Animal Sagacity, Our Children's Pets, by Josephine, and Our Dumb Companions by the Rev. T. Jackson, issued
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master’s cart in his mouth.”"—Morning Advertiser. :

,





With Seventy-five Engravings, in-4to., cloth, 58. 3 extra cloth, elegantly gilt, 7s. 6d.

OUR CHILDREN’S PETS.

BY JOSEPHINE. _ : 5

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certainly be delighted with Our Children’s Pets.” — City Press. :





With Twenty-four Engravings. Cloth, Medaition on side, 58.3 extra gilt, 7s. 6d. .

CLEVER DOGS, HORSES,. ETC.,

With Anecdotes of other Animais. By Shirley Liibberd, Esq.

“Full of instructive teaching. * # * The illustrations—of which there are no fewer than twenty-four—are of the
very best order."—Art Yournadl. :









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. Who’s your Friend? By J. E. GRay 3
. Autobiography of a Reformed Thief , : : 1d,
. What Happened to Joe Barker : : : 1d.
. The Losings’ Bank. Pledge for Pledge . P Id.

I
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3
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5. The Plank will Bear. A Ballad for Seamen . - Id. EZ
6
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. ’Tis Buts; and How to Take Care of them : Id,
. The Market Pint. By J. E. Gray 5 F id.
. The Shabby Surteut. By Dr. Hut a Id. |=
=] 9. Wonder-Working Bedstead. By J. W. TROY Id.
|) 10. My Account with Her Majesty. By A. HaLLipay td.
fg) 11. The Wounded Stag; or, The Three Warnings 1d.

= 12, The Temperance Life-Boat Crew i 3 id, E
13. Polly Pratt's Secret for Making £5 Notes 4 1d. [sy
14. The Life-Belt: an Old Sailors Story . . af
























15. Crippled Jenny; or, The Voice of Flowers . Id.
| 16, The Doings of Drink. By Rev. S. J. Sronn, B.A. 14, 4
E| 17. How Sam Adams’ Pipe became a Pig. Id. 4 Ae :
| 18. The Sunday Excursion Train. By Dr. ee 1d, |24 (|
S| 19. The First and Last Little Tiff . : : Id. Le,
fl 20. Frank’s Sunday Out. By Mrs. C. L. Einoare 1d, XX





































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24. Help Myself Society... By J. W. ORTON f Id, )
First Series —Vos. 1 7o 12 of the above may be had in fancy boar ras, IS.5 bf.
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ILLUSTRATED FLY- LEAVES. pee
Four-Page Tracts, printed in large type, specially intended for
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poe. \



S.W. Parrriper & Co.,
5 2 PATERNOSTER ROW,
LONDON:

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