Bird Neighbors: An Introductory Acquaintance with One Hundred and Fifty Birds Commonly Found in the Gardens, Meadows, and Woods about Our Homes

Bird Neighbors: An Introductory Acquaintance with One Hundred and Fifty Birds Commonly Found in the Gardens, Meadows, and Woods about Our Homes

Read FREE!

Bird Neighbors: An Introductory Acquaintance with One Hundred and Fifty Birds Commonly Found in the Gardens, Meadows, and Woods about Our Homes

Bird Neighbors: An Introductory Acquaintance with One Hundred and Fifty Birds Commonly Found in the Gardens, Meadows, and Woods about Our Homes

Read FREE!

Excerpt

I write these few introductory sentences to this volume only to second so worthy an attempt to quicken and enlarge the general! interest in our birds. The book itself is merely an introduction, and is only designed to place a few clews in the reader's hands which he himself or herself is to follow up. I can say that it is reliable and is written in a vivacious strain and by a real bird lover, and should prove a help and a stimulus to any one who seeks by the aid of its pages to become better acquainted with our songsters. The pictures, with a few exceptions, are remarkably good and accurate, and these, with the various grouping of the birds according to color, season, habitat, etc., ought to render the identification of the birds, with no other weapon than an opera glass, an easy matter.

When I began the study of the birds I had access to a copy of Audubon, which greatly stimulated my interest in the pursuit, but I did not have the opera glass, and I could not take Audubon with me on my walks, as the reader may this volume, and he will find these colored plates quite as helpful as those of Audubon or Wilson.

But you do not want to make out your bird the first time; the book or your friend must not make the problem too easy for you. You must go again and again, and see and hear your bird under varying conditions and get a good hold of several of its characteristic traits. Things easily learned are apt to be easily forgotten. Some ladies, beginning the study of birds, once wrote to me, asking if I would not please come and help them, and set them right about certain birds in dispute. I replied that that would be getting their knowledge too easily; that what I and any one else told them they would be very apt to forget, but that the things they found out themselves they would always remember. We must in a way earn what we have or keep. Only thus does it become ours, a real part of us.

Not very long afterward I had the pleasure of walking with one of the ladies, and I found her eye and ear quite as sharp as my own, and that she was in a fair way to conquer the bird kingdom without any outside help. She said that the groves and fields, through which she used to walk with only a languid inter-

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