The sketches of bird manners and customs in this little collection are the record of careful observation, and scrupulously true in every particular. The facts may not all be new to Science, but since they are genuine studies from life, and each bird whose acquaintance I make is as truly a discovery to me as if he were totally unknown to the world, I venture to hope that lovers of birds may find in these pages real, live, individuals in feathers, honestly "brothers of ours."
was interesting to see her deal with a moth which she found napping on a fence. She ran at once to a crack or some convenient hole in the rough rail, thrust it in and hammered it down. When it was quiet she snipped off the wings, dragged it out, and beat it on the fence till it was fit for food, the family meanwhile gathered around her, clinging closely to the fence, and gently fluttering. These nuthatches were remarkably silent, but some that I once saw living near the top of two or three tall pines were quite noisy, and I spent much time trying to see what they were forever complaining about. There always seemed to be some catastrophe impending up in that sky parlor, but it never appeared to reach a climax.
Charming to watch is the bluebird nestling; cheery and gentle like the parents, he seems to escape the period of helplessness that many birds suffer from, perhaps because he is patient enough to stay in the nest till his wings are ready to use. The mocking-bird baby has a far different time. Vict