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American Pipit
During the migrations the pipits are abundant in salt marshes or open stretches of country inland, that, with lark-like preference, they choose for feeding grounds.
If by accident one happens upon a sleeping bird, it suddenly rouses and flies away, making no more sound than a passing butterfly—a curious and uncanny silence that is quite remarkable.
Usually the nighthawks hunt in little companies in the most sociable fashion. Late in the summer they seem to be almost gregarious. They fly in the early morning or late afternoon with beak wide open, hawking for insects, but except when the moon is full they are not known to go a-hunting after sunset.
Black-billed Cuckoo
Neither cuckoo knows how to build a proper home; a bunch of sticks dropped carelessly into the bush, where the hapless babies that emerge from the greenish eggs will not have far to fall when they tumble out of bed, as they must inevitably do, may by courtesy only be called a nest.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Altogether, the cuckoo is a very different sort of bird from what our fancy pictured. The little Swiss creatures of wood that fly out of the doors of clocks and call out the bed-hour to sleepy children, are chiefly responsible for the false impressions of our mature years.
Bank Swallow
The bank swallow's nest, like the kingfisher's, which it resembles, is his home as well. There he rests when tired of flying about in pursuit of insect food.
Cedar Bird
Among the French Canadians they are called Recollet, from the color of their crest resembling the hood of the religious order of that name. Every region the birds pass through, local names appear to be applied to them, a few of the most common of which are given above.
Brown Creeper
The brown creeper's plumage is one of Nature's .most successful feats of mimicry—an exact counterfeit in feathers of the brown-gray bark on which the bird lives.
Pine Siskin
A small grayish-brown brindle bird, relieved with touches of yellow on its back, wings, and tail, may be seen some winter morning roving on the lawn from one evergreen tree to another, clinging to the pine cones and peering attentively between the scales before extracting the kernels.
Smith's Painted Longspur
Certain peculiarities are noticeable, however. Longspurs squat while resting ; then, when flushed, they run quickly and lightly.
Lapland Longspur
At all seasons of the year a ground bird, you may readily identify the Lapland longspur by its tracks through the snow, showing the mark of the long hind claw or spur.
Chipping Sparrow
Unlike most of the sparrows, the little chippy frequents high trees, where its nest is built quite as often as in the low bushes of the garden.
English Sparrow
In Australia Scotch thistles, English sparrows, and rabbits, three most unfortunate importations, have multiplied with equal rapidity until serious alarm fills the minds of the colonists.
Field Sparrow
Simply because both birds have chestnut crowns, the field sparrow is often mistaken for the dapper, sociable chippy; and, no doubt because it loves such heathery, grassy pastures as are dear to the vesper sparrow, and has bay wings and a sweet song, these two cousins also are often confused.
Fox Sparrow
Usually the fox sparrows keep in small, loose flocks, apart by themselves, for they are not truly gregarious ; but they may sometimes be seen travelling in company with their white-throated cousins.
Grasshopper Sparrow
It is safe to say that no other common bird is so frequently overlooked as this little sparrow, that keeps persistently to the grass and low bushes, and only faintly lifts up a weak, wiry voice that is usually attributed to some insect.
Savanna Sparrow
In the lowlands of Nova Scotia and, in fact, of all the maritime provinces, this sparrow is the one that is perhaps most commonly seen. Every fence-rail has one perched upon it.
Seaside Sparrow
Good-sized flocks of seaside sparrows live together in the marshes; but they spend so much of their time on the ground, running about among the reeds and grasses, whose seeds and insect parasites they feed upon.
Sharp-tailed Sparrow
This bird delights in the company of the dull-colored seaside sparrow, whose haunts in the salt marshes it frequents, especially the drier parts; but its pointed tail-quills and more distinct markings are sufficient to prevent confusion.
Song Sparrow
In sparsely settled regions the song sparrows seem to show a fondness for moist woodland thickets, possibly because their tastes are insectivorous. But it is difficult to imagine the friendly little musician anything but a neighbor.
Swamp Song Sparrow
But the swamp sparrows frequently belie their name, and, especially in the South, live in dry fields, worn-out pasture lands with scrubby, weedy patches in them.
Tree Sparrow
By the first of March, when the fox sparrow and the blue-bird attract the lion's share of attention by their superior voices, we not infrequently are deaf to the modest, sweet little strain that answers for the tree sparrow's love-song.
Vesper Sparrow
The vesper sparrow is preeminently a grass-bird. It first opens its eyes on the world in a nest neatly woven of grasses, laid on the ground among the grass that shelters it and furnishes it with food and its protective coloring.
White-crowned Sparrow
The large size and handsome markings of this aristocratic-looking Northern sparrow would serve to distinguish him at once, did he not often consort with his equally fine-looking white-throated cousins while migrating, and so too often get over-looked.
White-throated Sparrow
These sparrows are particularly sociable travellers, and cordially welcome many stragglers to their flocks—not during the migrations only, but even when winter's snow affords only the barest gleanings above it.
Tree Swallow
In unsettled districts these swallows nest in hollow trees, hence their name; but with that laziness that forms a part of the degeneracy of civilization, they now gladly accept the boxes about men's homes set up for the martins.
Ruby-throated Humming-bird
In the mating season the female may be seen perching—a posture one rarely catches her gay lover inpreening her dainty but sombre feathers with ladylike nicety. The young birds do a great deal of perching before they gain the marvellously rapid wing-motions of maturity, but they are ready to fly within a week after they are hatched.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Curiously enough, the nest of this bird, that is not at all rare, has been discovered only six times. It would appear to be over-large for the tiny bird, until we remember that kinglets are wont to have a numerous progeny in their pensile, globular home.
Golden-crowned Kinglet
In the early spring, just before this busy little sprite leaves us to nest in Canada or Labrador—for heat is the one thing that he can't cheerfully endure—a gushing, lyrical song bursts from his tiny throat—a song whose volume is so out of proportion to the bird's size that Nuttall's classification of kinglets with wrens doesn't seem far wrong after all.
Solitary Vireo
The distinguishing quality of this vireo's celebrated song is its tenderness : a pure, serene uplifting of its loving, trustful nature that seems inspired by a fine spirituality.
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