Billeder på siden

the cold, they had been overwhelmed, and perhaps this we may be enabled, in some measure, to dewashed into the current, by the coming in of the termine to what quarter of the globe they retire, tide. He alludes to occasional instances of other when they leave Europe in autumn. birds besides swallows having been found in a state Adanson, in his “ Voyage to Senegal," relates, of torpor during winter, and imagines that fisher- that on the 6th of October, being about fifty leagues men had availed themselves of the coming in of from the coast, between the island of Goree and the tide to catch fish, and that the swallows, before Senegal, four swallows alighted on the shrouds of supposed to have been carried into the current, his ship, which he easily caught, and knew to be coming in contact with their nets, were conse- European swallows. He adds, that they never quently drawn out by them, and, not having been appear at Senegal until the winter season, and that long under water, were not completely drowned. they do not build nests, as in Europe, but roost

There are several circumstances which seem to every night on the sand by the sea-shore. Sir favor the opinion, that these birds remain concealed Charles Wager has recorded, that in one of his during winter in this country. Among others, the voyages home, as he came into soundings of our most striking is, that swallows, hirundines rusticæ, Channel, a great flock of swallows settled on his as well as martins, hirundines urbice, have some rigging, every rope was covered with them, they times appeared very late in autumn, a considerable hung on one another like a swarm of bees, the decks time after they were all supposed to have taken and carvings were filled with them, they seemed their departure; and that they have likewise been spent and famished, and, to use his own expression, found concealed in the crevices of rocks, in holes were only feathers and bones; but, recruited with a of old decayed trees, in old ruined towers, and under night's rest, they resumed their flight in the mornthe thatch of houses. Dr. Forster further presumes, ing. A similar circumstance happened to Captain that those birds which have been found in a state Wright, in a voyage, many years ago, from Philaof torpidity, had, owing to some accident, been delphia to London. hatched later in the year than ordinary, and con- There are many anecdotes of sagacity in these sequently had not acquired sufficient strength to birds. For several years some swallows bad built undergo the fatigue of a long journey upon the their mud habitations in the window-frames of a wing, at the time when the migration of the rest of house, at Beaumaris in Anglesea. These dry, their species took place; and that, to shelter them comfortable, and protected abodes were envied by selves from the inclemency of the weather, they had the less favored sparrows of the same place, who sought retreats wherein, from cold and hunger, they embraced the opportunity (while the unsuspected had sunk into a state of torpidity.

swallows were skimming o'er the wide bosom of “For several years past," says Dr. Forster, “I the main) and confidently took possession, thinking have observed that chimney swallows have ap- also to establish an undoubted settlement by do peared first in cold weather. I have sometimes positing their eggs; the swallows finding their seen them as early as April the second, when the rightful mansions engrossed by other tenants, mercury in the thermometer has been below the seemed reconciled to the ejectment; but, to the freezing point. On the other hand, I have often astonishment of the lady residing in the house, no taken notice, that, durir.g a continuance of mild sooner had the sparrows hatched their young, weather for the space of a fortnight, in the month than the swallows gathered all their forces, and of April, not so much as one swallow has ap- plastered up the entrance of the nest containing peared.” He also remarks, that, towards the latter the old sparrow and her brood, where they end of September, swallows, as well as martins, perished. congregate in great numbers, and are frequently seen sitting on the tops of houses, and on rocks

DAY-BREAK. near the sea. These meetings usually continue for several days, after which they suddenly disap

'Tis now the hour when o'er the eastern hills pear. They seldom perch on trees, except in autumn, shortly previous to their disappearance, and

Morn, like a blushing bride, her pearls puts on, they then choose dead trees in preference. They

While the proud lark at Heaven's high lattice sometimes sit.on trees earlier in summer, when the weather has been very cold.

Now milkmaids blithe their quilted kirtles don, Swifts begin to assemble in large bodies previous

And the rough ploughman gapes and growls to their departure, early in July; their numbers daily increase, and they soar higher in the air, with

As the cock's clarion pierces his dull ear ; sbriller cries, and fly differently from their usual

Down the green lane the lowing kine are gone

To where the noisy brooklet bubbles clear, mode. Such meetings continue till towards the middle of August, after which they are seldom And in the folds the flock their shaggy guardian

fear. Sand-martins likewise flock together in autumn, Now may be heard, under the vantage eave Some years ago they appeared in great numbers Of trellis'd villa in smooth-shaven lawn, in London and its neighborhood. Dr. Forster The twittering swallow that seems loth to clearly shows that swallows are birds of passage, leave and produces the accounts of mariners, who had Her procreant cradle for the breezy dawn; seen these birds many hundred miles out at sea, And at that soft sweet reveillie, half drawn and on whose ships they had alighted to rest, The muslin from the casement's jealous bar, almost exhausted with fatigue and hunger.* By Shows a fair form more timid than the fawn,

But with an eye that, like the morning star, * "Observations on the Brumal Retreat of the Gleams through its lashes long, that black as Swallow," by Charles Forster, F.L.8. 8vo.

midnight are.





use an

THE AVIARY AND ITS OCCUPANTS. from taint, you will find nothing so serviceNo. X.

able, nothing so appropriate, as a circular (Concluded from Page 216.)

slab of marble 12 inches in diameter. This

will be in perpetual use as a general "table IF YOU WOULD STUDY COMFORT, it will for operations.". In connection with it you be needful to have an abundant supply of will find a “spatula,” or apothecaries' knife, those little nick-nacks, which though tri- very handy. Being flexible, it yields easily

Both these fling, are yet indispensable ; for as no work to the pressure of the hand. man, how clever soever he may be, can

articles must, of course, be kept sweet and

clean. move one step in the right direction without being provided with proper tools--so,

To cleanse the floor of the aviary, by reno aviary can be reckoned complete” in moving the sand, &c., the most ready instruits several appointments without all the ment will be a kind of "hoe,” fitted in a

wooden handle, 12 inches long. The width necessary paraphernalia are in readiness, to be used as occasion may require them of the hoe should be 5 inches, and it should We shall therefore proceed at once

be slightly “inclined” outwards. A trowel,

to particularise what these essentials are.

also, on a somewhat similar principle, will be In the first place-as you will daily have found useful, for scraping the corners of the

floor. The sand should be, to to grate your bullocks' liver, buns, &c., and as it requires a “fine” apparatus for this Hibernicism, rather gravel than sand. That purpose, you must get a carpenter to fur- is, it should be gravel, finely sifted, so as to nish you with two well-seasoned deal boxes,

retain a number of small pebbles. These made as follows : -The length of each box pebbles are freely eaten by, and greatly must be 8 inches; width, 6 inches ; depth, assist the digestive powers of the whole 34 inches. All round the tops of each should feathered tribe. It is not necessary to throw be ledges, shelving upwards and outwards, so it will come into use again, much of it, when

all the sand every time it is removed ; as to prevent waste. In the upper part of each box let a square sheet of tin be inserted

cleansed by sifting. (any brazier will undertake this), perforated For this purpose, always be provided with with minutely-fine holes, and strongly two large strong sieves, made of wire, one "roughed” on the outside, like an ordinary finer than the other. Through these, dumnestic grater.

severally, pass what is removed from the In the under part of each box let a drawer floor of the aviary, day by day. The dry be fitted, to pull out, having a ring in the sand will freely pass through the fine sievecentre. By the aid of this, you will obtain the residue must be rejected as being quite easy access to whatever you may have been unfit for use. It will, however, do for the passing through the holes above. One of poultry-yard. these boxes should be kept exclusively for For the purpose of cleaning the circular the bullocks' liver, and cleansed immediately and square perches, there are always kept after use; the other, for the buns, bread, &c. ready for use (obtainable at any of the birdThis provision has reference to the “ war dealers in the neighborhood of the Seven blers " principally. The larger and more Dials,'') long and short iron rods, fitted with hardy birds will select tangible pieces of two distinct contrivances—one at either end. bread, bun, &c.; which they love to place These are of light weight, and are made, at under their claw, and Airt with at their one end, so as to admit the perches into leisure.

their centre. Thus, all dirt is readily reYou must now provide a piece of deal, moved, and with comparatively little trouble. 12 inches square; made on the principle of These irons are also indispensable for the what housekeepers call a chopping-board; perches of caged birds, as well as those in an that is, having a back to it, and a narrow aviary.

on each side. On this you must The last equipment that we need notice place your hemp-seed, crushing it thoroughly is - the jars to contain your bird -seed, &c. with a lignum-vitæ rolling-pin. After every These we should recommend to be of tranoperation of this kind, scrape the board sparent glass, with glass covers also. The clean with a long knife; and daily scald it tall glasses, such as are used by chemists and with boiling water, to remove or lessen the confectioners, will be found most serviceable. grease which has exuded from the heinp- Whether for your German-paste, your buns, seed.

your seed-or what not- these glasses are to A pestle and mortar, of marble, is the be highly commended. They are by no next requisite. This is serviceable for rub- means costly, and they preserve all that is bing down the hard-boiled eggs and a variety contained in them sweet and wholesome. of other substances connected with an aviary. Of course, you will keep yourself well supIt is an article of indispensable utility. To plied with sponges, flannels, nail-brushes, scrape your raw beef on, and keep it free and other similar articles of daily use. You

li wall


should also be furnished with a stock of bird one from the other. We have recently glasses, tin pans, &c., so as never to be at a alluded to Bechstein's book (a new edition loss, in case of sudden need. There is always of which was lately published) in terms of something occurring, to render these pro- dis-praise. We do not wish to be told how visions needful.

to trap birds, how to tease birds, how to So much for the building and equipment turn birds into unnatural performers, and of an aviary. We have been very minute, make them live a life of torment; neither very precise, very methodical; so that we to be instructed in the art of starving them may now consider all our preparations for into tameness. Such silly books, although enjoyment complete.” If people will keep profusely illustrated, must ever be viewed with birds—and the practice is on the increase, it distaste by all who have hearts, and by all is a matter of stringent duty on our part to who wish to be beloved by their pets. point out all that will induce towards making They are much in request among, servants; them “happy." Yet is that word a perfect and we see the ill-effects produced by them mockery! If we could read the heart of a daily, as we pass through our west-end bird, and enter into his feelings at this streets. Victims of every kind are exhibited season, whilst confined in a room, --we should in areas, or may be seen suspended from hardly persist in our cruelty to his race. attic windows-shivering in the blast, or Accustomed as we are to range

the fields,

scorched by fervid heat. Our pen sball and almost to acquire the language (certainly

never be used in defence of such practices. the feelings) of the “free” songsters as they diary" of observations; and we most

For several years we kept a regular point on this matter. Oh! that all “ad- earnestly advise every possessor of an aviary mirers of our writings on Song-Birds" could to do the same thing. They will feel, as we join us in our walks ; letting us chat to them have ever done, fresh sensations of delight by the way as we wandered through the every time they refer to their note-book. young growing corn, in shady lanes, by Truly different indeed will be their own re

oks and rivulets; in copses, meadows, and marks, by comparison with those they have leafy woods we would try and convince been in the habit of reading in printed them of what they are so slow to learn, co

books! unwilling to believe. Nay more; we are You will first note the peculiarity in disvain enough to believe that our argument position of each separate inmate ; observing, would“ prevail” with many--for we should for instance, in whose company the canary be away from the noise of cities; buried in and goldfinches are principally found; also Nature's lovely bosom; and the influences of the linnet, chaffinch, bullfinch, &c. Certain the season, and its surrounding charms, could birds you will find to be of solitary, retired not but melt the heart. Every step we took, habits; others, gregarious; and many, partial we could “illustrate our argument-for we to mixed society. Every day will unfold would point to everything having life, and some new and interesting discovery, and address ourself to the very soul of each bring to light some Pylades and Orestes listening ear. We love to reason in the vowing eternal friendship for each other, &c. fields ! And why? Simply because we al- It is beyond all question, that social intiways get our own way. Nature is such a macies are formed in an aviary; and that they special pleader! But we must again descend are of long continuance. This remark ap

plies as well to male birds, as to those which The aviary thoroughly furnished, and your live together in pairs. The most singular little families affectionately provided for, the instance of attachment in illustration of the next thing to be done is—to make yourself latter, that we can call to mind, is that of a thoroughly acquainted with the natural his. pied mule canary (a hen), associated with a tory of every bird in your possession. You cock robin. The mutual affection of this could not do this satisfactorily, unless you out-of-the-way pair, was as strong as it was had several of the same species ; for to judge remarkable. The two were never to be found of all by one, would be manifestly incorrect. apart. The mule which we had originally Three of each, we think we may conscien- imagined to be a male bird, and purchased as tiously say, will suffice for your purpose; if such, in due course laid three eggs. They you chance to have more, so much the better. were artfully concealed behind a part of the

You will find there are many books ex- lining of the wall, in some dried chickweed. tant, which profess to treat logically of We removed these eggs as quickly as pos" British Song Birds;" and we recommend sible; and placed them under a hen canary, if you feel so disposed, a perusal of the which was just beginning to sit, in a breedwhole. You will then satisfactorily convince ing cage. yourself, how totally insufficient they are to There being a wise and universal law in teach you any

amount of practical nature, that no mules, males or females, knowledge. They appear mere servile copies, I can reproduce their own species; we felt

to prose.

quite confident in our own mind of what ciated ; our motives have been pleasingly remust be the necessary result with regard cognised; and our labor of love for the welto the hatching of the eggs. There was, fare of the feathered tribe has, we are assured, of course, no embryon—consequently, no oft not been in vain. spring We merely experimented in this one extraordinary instance, to satisfy, some amateurs who were morbidly sanguine of

BIRDS OF SONG, a contrary issue.

THE THRUSH. It is worthy of notice, that immediately on the removal of the eggs from their

(Continued from Page 218.) hiding-place, both the robin and the mule grew melancholy. Their affection was, if

THE COUNTRY HAS NOW BEEN SO LONG possible, redoubled; but, sick at heart at rejoicing in the notes of this happy fellow, the frustration of their fondest hopes, they where we may. From the earliest dawn

that we find him an especial favorite, go pined gradually away, and found a restingplace in the silent


" In their deaths until long after sun-set, is he everywhere they we

not divided.” We placed them making himself heard and beloved : in a small deal box, and buried them be

The thrush's

song neath the same tomb.

Is varied as his plumes; and as his plumes When you have carefully studied the dis- Bend beauteous, each with each, so run his notes positions and habits of the hard-billed birds, How prettily upon his parded breast,

Smoothly, with many a happy rise and fall. you will find that in the soft-billed you have The vividly-contrasting tints unite yet more to admire. These little creatures, To please the admirirg eye! So—loud and soft, more particularly those known as the And high and low, all in his notes combine

Warblers," have all of them a soft, silky, In alternation sweet, to charm the ear. plumage ; and are, in point of substance, · light as air.” Hence their sleekness, trim- between this bird and man, that he (the

There seems to be a mutual understanding ness, and fair symmetrical proportions. The time to view them in their glory is in the thrush) has a prescriptive right to take up morning, while feeding; or when the sun

his quarters just where he pleases. He streams into the aviary, through the win: seems intuitively to know that he is always dows. They may then be seen basking in that makes him so loud and so free in his

a welcome visitor; and this knowledge it is the sun's rays, ranged on one of the long perches in the front window; or lying own; your trees as his property; and your

song. He looks upon your garden as his stretched out at full length on the margin of fruit' as being provided for the refreshment the rippling fountain.

and entertainment of his family. We The "Warblers ” are also remarkably fond assume all this, from the bold manner in of sitting opposite the looking-glasses; be- which he takes possession of his territories. fore which they habitually make their toilet, In our last, we dwelt much upon the admiand perform some excruciatingly-droll antics rable construction of the thrush's nest, and If ever birds may be said to "think,” it is made particular mention of the progressive at such seasons as these. It is long before architecture of the builder. We should they can bring themselves to believe that the have remarked, that the rounded form of reflection of their own person is not in reality this frame-work is produced by the bird another bird. Many are the assaults com- measuring it, at every step of the process, mitted on the face of the glass in conse- with its body ; particularly with the part exquence!

tending from the thigh to the chin. It is To get these little rogues, one and all, to this uniform course of action in all the tribe be your associates, you need only provide that causes us to make the discrimination yourself with any of the luxuries in which between “instinct” and “ reason." If we they delight-such as a few wood-lice, ants, found an exception to a rule, facts would be spiders, mealworms, or earwigs. Your ad against us; but it is not so. vent will then be heralded with a rapturous The thrush lays four, sometimes five eggs. song. One or two of these savory morceaux, They are of a blue cast, spotted with black kindly presented with the hand, will get rid at the larger end. The nest is built in a Fir of all mauvaise honte on their part, and cause or Holly; sometimes on the stump of a tree; you to be “A 1” in the estimation of the and very frequently near the ground. It is colony.

easily discoverable, and therefore often beWe here close our “Treatise on the comes the property of the highway robber. Aviary and its Occupants." It has afforded The heads of these diabolical vagrants are a us infinite delight to receive, during its pro- study worthy of the phrenologists. The gress towards completion, testimonials of savages would appear to have but one organ approval from very high quarters. The in their whole system--we hardly need say spirit of our observations has been appre- that we mean the organ of “ Destructive

[ocr errors]

ness.' Being in such constant operation, no no water whatever be placed inside their wonder its owners are such "adepts” in cages. Else will they upset the vessel contheir unnatural vocations !

taining it, and be constantly walking over The same remarks we have already made wet sand. These matters are very seldom about the blackbird, apply with full force to rightly understood, and many birds die from the thrush. The best birds are always those the want of only common care. On no account which are bat-folded or netted. These change the food of your birds too soon. possess the wild, or natural note; and when Dry food will not suit their digestion, and caged, they seldom or never lose it. It would, must not be given them until they are at however, be foolish, as well as cruel to least six weeks old. A snail, a morsel of attempt to cage any of the old birds now. bread and butter, and an atom of cheese, in In the first place, they would not sing,-at connection with their soft food, will bring all events for any length of time; in the them nicely forward. Hang them up in the second place, they would occasion you much most cheerful situation you can find; and unnecessary trouble in attending to them always talk to them as you pass. This will throughout the summer season; and in the render them very tame. third place, you would be depriving their Carefully guard against the incursion of mates of a natural protector whilst engaged Cats. We have many times thrown in a in the arduous duties of incubation.

caution of this kind, en passant; and at this Nestling thrushes often turn out good season, we feel bound to repeat it with inbirds if well educated; but they are very creased remonstrance. We never did, do imitative. When only two months old, they not, and never shall aid any one whose cruwill faithfully record the melodious strains elty permits birds, and other“ pets,". to be of a love-sick cat; nor can we admit that domesticated with Cats. The mere sight of these are much improved on by the extra one of these creatures sometimes deprives a “ variations" that are sometimes indulged in. timid bird of its sanity. Loudly and sweetly In such cases, it is desirable to let the per- as it may have sung, in times past-such a former have his immediate liberty, or your shock as that occasioned by the longing ears will ever after be doomed to sounds of eye" of an anxious cat, will unseat the intel. feline melody. We should be wanting in lect. We have seen and heard of many such our duty, did we not point out these innate occurrences. We therefore say-beware! propensities of the thrush. Our readers now Thrushes, like blackbirds, require a variety have the remedy in their own hands. in their diet. Their general food may conIf you wish to bring your birds up tame

sist of German-paste, stale bun, and hardfrom the nest, it will be advisable to obtain

But they will anxiously look some of the earliest broods,

which generally of cheese, and a few meal worms.
out for a snail, some bread and butter, a morsel

If these thrive better than any others. You need be given them at intervals, they will never not keep them too warm; but a piece of flannel should be thrown over the nest for a

ail anything; and with care you may keep day or two till they are used to the change. When nearly fledged, remove them at once Thrushes are liable to CRAMP, particuto other quarters.

larly when young.

Be careful therefore A nest of young thrushes usually consists never to place the vessel holding water inof four or five members. All these should side their cages; and let the gravel at the be kept together in a long cage, with a wire bottom of their cages be always kept clean front. Give them a good

bottom of dry, red and dry. It should be changed every day. gravel, and place them in the sun. They You cannot do better than select your cages will thrive wonderfully fast, thus treated. on the model proposed for those of the Feed them exactly the same as you would do blackbird. They like plenty of room, both young blackbirds. We have already spoken in width and height, and they should be of this, at much length. They will soon suspended moderately high. In summer they learn to peck, and as soon to perch. may be left out all night; but as we have

It is very difficult to distinguish a male before remarked, one side of the cage must from a female thrush, when young. Indeed, be boarded, to exclude all draughts. we can give no proper directions for exer- Thrushes are very fond of bathing. You cising a judgment in the matter. However, if must therefore provide a square earthenware you procure your young birds early in the pan (sold by the bird-dealers), let into a wire season, the males will soon “record" their frame. Suspend this every morning on the song; and from the distension of the larynx, cage door (first opening it). The bird will you will be able to discriminate the powers soon jump into his bath; and when he of their execution. Hens "jabber," the retires you had better remove it immediately; males whistle.

then close the door. Thrushes, when young, are very liable to To cause your birds to be tame and famicramp. It is needful, therefore, to see that | liar, it is only needful to talk to them as you

boiled egg

them 15 years.

« ForrigeFortsæt »