BOB-WHITE Bird, Partridge bird - What a cheerful contrast is Bob White's clear, staccato whistle to the drawing coo of the amorous dove! Character is often expressed in a bird's voice as well as in ours.
People who are not very well acquainted with the birds about them usually mistake the long-tailed brown thrasher for a thrush because he has a rusty back and a speckled white breast, which they seem to think is an exclusive thrush characteristic, which it certainly is not.
From their hunting-ground in the blackberry tangle and bushes that border a neighbouring wood, a family of chewinks sally forth boldly to my piazza floor to pick up seed from the canary's cage,
RED-TAILED HAWK, Chicken Hawk, Red Hawk - This larger relative of the red-shouldered hawk (the female red-tail measures nearly two feet in length) shares with it the hatred of all but the most enlightened farmers.
Is it not curious that among our so-called song birds there should be two, about the size of robins, the loggerhead and the northern shrike,
AMERICAN CROW. Two close relatives there are which, like the poor, are always with us—the crow and the blue jay. Both are mischievous rascals, extraordinarily clever, with the most highly developed brains that any of our birds possess.
RUFFED GROUSE - Bob-white and ruffed grouse are the fife and drum corps of the woods. That some birds are wonderful musicians everybody knows. No other orchestra contains a member who can drum without a drum.
Called also: Red-breasted Thrush; Migratory Thrush; Robin Redbreast
To name this little dingy sparrow that haunts the open fields and dusty roadsides, you must notice the white feather on each side of his tail as he spreads it and flies before you to alight upon a fence.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD. What child does not know the hummingbird, the jewelled midget that flashes through the garden, poises before a flower as if suspended in the air by magic,
Slim, lithe, elegant, dainty, the catbird, as he runs lightly over the lawn or hunts among the shrubbery, appears to be a fine gentleman among his kind—a sort of Beau Brummel in smooth, gray feathers who has preened and prinked until his toilet is quite faultless.
Among birds, as among humans, it is the father who lends his name to the family, however difficult it may be to know the mother and children by it.
COOPER'S HAWK, Chicken Hawk - Here is no ally of the farmer, but his foe, the most bold of all his robbers, a blood-thirsty villain that lives by plundering poultry yards, and tearing the warm flesh from the breasts of game and song birds, one of the few members of his generally useful tribe that deserves the punishment ignorantly meted out to his innocent relatives.
So few birds wear their head feathers crested that it is a simple matter to name them by their top-knots alone,
BLUE JAY BIRD. This vivacious, dashing fellow, harsh-voiced and noisy, cannot be overlooked; for when a brightly coloured bird, about a foot long, roves about your neighbourhood with a troop of screaming relatives, everybody knows it.
Is there any sign of spring quite so welcome as the glint of the first bluebird unless it is his softly whistled song?
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;
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.
What child is there who does not know the mockingbird, caged or free?