Star Papers; Or, Experiences of Art and Nature

By Henry Ward Beecher | Go to book overview

XIII. THE VALUE OF BIRDS.

SPORSTMEN BEWARE -- The last Legislature enacted that it shall not be lawful in the State of New Jersey for any person to shoot, or in any other manner to kill or destroy, except upon his own premises, any of the following description of birds: the night or mosquito hawk, chimney swallow, martin or swift, whippoorwill, cuckoo, kingbird or bee martin, woodpecker, claip or highhole, catbird, wren, bluebird, meadow lark, brown thresher, dove, fire-bird or summer redbird, hanging bird, ground robin or chewink, boblink or rice bird, robin, snow or chipping bird, sparrow, Carolina lit, warbler, blackbird, bluejay, and the small owl. The penalty is five dollars for each offence, or for the destruction of the eggs of such birds. -- Tribune.

WHAT is a bird good for? What dainty sentimentalism has set a stupid Legislature at such enactments?

Not so fast. Although we should greatly respect a Legislature that had the humanity to think of birds among other constituent bipeds, yet experience has taught farmers and gardeners the economic value of birds.

There are no such indefatigable entomologists as birds. Audubon and Wilson never hunted for specimen birds with such perseverance as birds themselves exhibit in their researches. They depasture the air, they penetrate every nook and corner of thicket, hedge and shrubbery, they search the bark, pierce the dead wood, glean the surface of the soil, watch for the spadetrench, and follow the furrow for worms and larvæ. A

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Star Papers; Or, Experiences of Art and Nature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface. v
  • Contents 7
  • I- Ruins of Kenilworth. -- Warwick Castle. 9
  • II- A Sabbath at Stratford-On-Avon. 27
  • III- Oxford. 41
  • IV- The Louvre -- Luxembourg Gallery. 56
  • V- The Louvre. 70
  • VI- London National Gallery. 77
  • I- A Discourse of Flowers. 93
  • II- Death in the Country. 106
  • III- Inland Vs. Seashore. 110
  • IV- New England Graveyards. 121
  • V- Towns and Trees. 129
  • VI- The First Breath in the Country. 137
  • VII- Trouting. 144
  • VIII- A Ride. 152
  • IX- The Mountain Stream. 161
  • X- A Country Ride. 172
  • XI- Farewell to the Country. 182
  • XII- School Reminiscence. 189
  • Xiii. The Value of Birds. 194
  • Xiv. A Rough Picture from Life. 197
  • Xv. A Ride to Fort Hamilton. 201
  • Xvi. Sights from My Window. 211
  • Xvii. The Death of Our Almanac. 1853. 218
  • Xviii. Fog in the Harbor. 226
  • Xix. The Morals of Fishing. 231
  • Xx. The Wanderings of a Star. 240
  • Xxi. Book-Stores, Books. 250
  • Xxii. Gone to the Country. 256
  • Xxiii. Dream-Culture. 263
  • Xxiv. A Walk Among Trees. 271
  • Xxv. Building a House. 285
  • Xxvi. Christian Liberty in the Use of the Beautiful. 293
  • Xxvii. Nature a Minister of Happiness. 303
  • Xxviii. Springs and Solitudes. 314
  • Xxix. Mid-October Days. 324
  • Xxx. A Moist Letter. 336
  • Xxxi. Frost in the Window. 344
  • Xxxii. Snow-Storm Traveling. 348
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