Is there any sign of spring quite so welcome as the glint of the first bluebird unless it is his softly whistled song?
Almost everywhere in the Eastern United States and Canada, the red-eyed vireo is the most common member of his family.
Is there a boy or girl in America who does not already know this saucy, keen-witted little gamin who thrives where other birds would starve;
MEADOWLARK BIRD. Every farmer's boy knows his father's friend, the meadowlark, the brownish, mottled bird, larger than a robin, with a lovely yellow breast and black crescent on it, that keeps well hidden in the grass of the meadows or grain fields.
DOWNY WOODPECKER - Birds for Kids - A hardy little friend is the downy woodpecker who, like the chickadee, stays by us the year around. Probably no other two birds are so useful in our orchards as these, that keep up a tireless search for the insect robbers of our fruit.
BARRED OWL, Hoot Owl - If "a good child should be seen and not heard" what can be said for this owl?
Much more shy and reserved than the social, democratic robin is his cousin the wood thrush, whom, perhaps, you more frequently hear than see.
It is not often that you can get close enough to any bird to see the white of his eyes, but the brighter olive green of this vivacious little white-eyed vireo's upper parts,
This summer a pair of the sociable, friendly little chippies—the smallest members of their clan—decided that they would build in a little boxwood tree on the verandah of our house next to the front door through which members of the family passed every hour of the day.
ORCHARD ORIOLE. Fortunately many other birds besides this oriole prefer to live in orchards; otherwise think how many worm-eaten apples there would be!
HAIRY WOODPECKER - Birds for Kids - Light woods, with plenty of old trees in them, suit this busy carpenter better than orchards or trees close to our homes, for he is more shy than his sociable little cousin, downy, whom he as closely resembles in feathers as in habits.
SCREECH OWLS - A boy I know had a pair of little screech owls invite themselves to live in a box he had nailed up for bluebirds in his father's orchard.
Bitterly cold and dreary though the day may be, that "little scrap of valour," the chickadee, keeps his spirits high until ours cannot but be cheered by the oft-repeated, clear, tinkling silvery notes that spell his name.
In a family not conspicuous for its fine feathers, this is certainly the beauty.
When the friendly little chippy leaves us in autumn, this similar but larger sparrow cousin comes into the United States from the North,
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Golden Oriole). A flash of flame among the tender young spring foliage; a rich, high, whistled song from the blossoming cherry trees, and every child knows that the sociable Baltimore oriole has just returned from Central America.
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER - Birds for Kids - This woodpecker I am sorry to introduce to you as the black sheep of his family, with scarcely a friend to speak a good word for him.
MOURNING DOVE, Carolina Dove - Do not waste any sympathy on this incessant love-maker that slowly sings coo-o-o, ah-coo-o-o-ooo-o-o-ooo-o-o, in a sweetly sad voice.
High up in the top of elms and maples that line village streets where the red-eyed vireo loves to hunt, even among the trees of so busy a thoroughfare as Boston Common,