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( Originally Published 1894 )
The House Martin is characterized by a white spot above his tail which adds to the prettiness of his appearance in flight. The summer residence of this agreeable bird is universally among the habitations of man, who, having no interest in its destruction, and deriving considerable advantage as well as amusement from its company, is generally its friend and protector.
The Martin inhabits America as well as Europe, and is a particular favourite wherever it takes up his abode. "I never knew but one man," says Wilson, " who disliked the Martins, and would not permit them to settle about his house: this was a penurious, close-fisted German, who hated them, because, as he said, `they eat his peas.' I told him he certainly must be mistaken, as I never knew an instance of Martins eating peas; but he replied with coolness, `that he had many times seen them himself blaying near the hive, and going schnip schnap,' by which I understood that it was his bees that were the suflerers; and the charge could not be denied."