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First Acquaintance With The Birds
IT IS in spring that wild birds make their strongest appeal to the human mind; in fact, the words birds and spring seem almost synonymous, so accustomed are we to associate one with the other.
Going Afield
It is rarely necessary to go far afield to begin the study of birds.
The bird student should early acquire the custom of making notes on such subjects as are of special interest.
Reporting Blanks
A convenient booklet of re-porting blanks and directions for using them is issued by the National Association of Audubon Societies, New York City.
Bird Books
There are a number of inexpensive books which contain illustrations of birds in natural colours. One of these will be of the greatest aid to the beginner in bird study.
Movements Of Birds
One does not get very far in the work of bird study without discovering that certain movements are characteristic of various families; and when the observer is able to recognize this difference in manner a long step has been taken in acquiring the power of identifying species.
The Umbrella Blind
A device now often used by ornithologists is the umbrella blind, which is easy to construct. Take a stout umbrella, remove the handle, and insert the end in a hollow brass rod five feet. long.
The Life About The Nest
IN VIEW of the fact that birds display much activity about their nests there is a great advantage in studying the nesting bird.
Number And Colour Of Eggs
The full complement of eggs laid by a bird is known as a set or clutch. The number varies greatly with different species.
Behaviour When Nest Is Discovered
After the young are hatched it is even easier to find nests by watching the parents. The nestlings are hungry at all hours, and the old ones are visiting the nest at frequent intervals throughout the day.
Lessons To Be Learned
An infinite variety of interesting things may be learned by watching birds at their nests, or by a study of the nests themselves.
Character Of Material Used
A wide variety of material is used by birds that build open nests. Cotton and feathers enter largely into the composition of the lining of a Shrike's nest.
Nests In Holes
The members of the Woodpecker family, contrary to certain popular beliefs, do not lay their eggs in hollow trees but deposit them in cavities that they excavate for the purpose.
Variety Of Situations
The student who takes up the subject of nest architecture will soon be impressed not only with the wide assortment of materials used, but also with the wonderful variety of situations chosen.
Meagre Nests
Heretofore, mention has been made only of the nests of birds built with much labour and usually constructed in trees or bushes.
Domestic Life Of The Birds
IT IS a privilege to be so situated that one may watch from day to day the occurrences about a wild bird's nest. Here feathered life reaches its greatest heights of emotion, and comedies and threatened tragedies are of daily occurrence.
Length Of Mated Life
The length of time which birds remain mated is a question often asked but seldom answered satisfactorily. The truth of the matter is that not much is known about the subject.
The Migration Of Birds
THERE is something fascinating about the word migration. It sends our minds back to the dim stories of tribal movements carved on the rocks by men who wrought in the dawn of history.
Why Birds Migrate
Why birds migrate we can only conjecture. Without doubt the growing scarcity of food in autumn is the controlling factor with many of them; and this would seem to be an excellent reason for leaving the region of their summer sojourn.
The World's Migrating Champion
The bird which makes the longest flight, according to the late Wells W. Cooke, America's greatest authority on bird migration, is the Arctic Tern.
The Birds In Winter
WITH the approach of winter the country loses its charm for many people. The blossoms and verdure, so common yet so beloved by all, have departed, and only the brown expanses of dead grass and weeds relieve the blackness of the forest trees.
The Food Question In Winter
Where to secure the food is the big question which confronts every bird when it opens its eyes on the first snowy morning of winter.
Economic Value Of Birds
WILD birds are now generally protected by law. Wander where you will through every province of Canada, and almost. every nook and corner of the United States, you will find that the lawmaker has been there before you, and has thrown over the birds the sheltering arm of prohibitory statutes.
Plagues Of Insects
Every now and then we read of great plagues of insects which Iiterally lay waste a whole section of country. History tells of these calamities which have troubled the civilized world from the days of Pharaoh to the present time.
Some Useful Birds
Most people who have made the acquaintance of our common birds know the friendly little Chickadee, which winter and summer is a constant resident in groves of deciduous trees.
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