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Our Bird Comrades   By: (1856-1937)

Book cover

First Page:

OUR BIRD COMRADES

By

LEANDER S. KEYSER

Author of "Birddom," "In Bird Land," and "Birds of the Rockies," etc.

[Frontispiece: American Sparrow hawk]

Rand, McNally & Company Chicago New York London

Copyright, 1907 by Rand, McNally & Co.

The Rand McNally Press Chicago

To

ALL WHO LOVE THE BIRDS FOR THEIR OWN SAKES,

who desire to cultivate comradeship with them in books and in the field, and who will study them with the glass and without the gun.

BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION

To know the birds intimately, to interpret their lives in all their varied conditions, one must get close to them. For the purpose of accomplishing this object the author of this volume has gone to their haunts day after day and watched them persistently at not a little cost of time, effort, and money. While the limits of a single volume do not permit him to present all of his observations, it is hoped that those here offered will be satisfactory as far as they go, and that the reader will be able to glean from these pages some new as well as interesting facts relative to bird life.

The writer has had another purpose in view in preparing this book: He wishes to inspire others, especially the young, to use their eyes and ears in the study of the enchanting volume of Nature. This object, he believes, will be best accomplished by furnishing concrete examples of what may be achieved by earnest research. For purposes of stimulus an ounce of example is worth a pound of precept. If another sees you and me doing a thing joyfully, earnestly, we need scarcely say to him, "Go thou and do likewise."

There is not much in the book that is technical, yet it aims at scientific accuracy in all of its statements, no bird being described whose status in the avian system has not been determined. If strange exploits are sometimes recited, the author has simply to say that he has been veracious in all of his statements, and that all the stories are "true bird stories." The author modestly believes that it will not be found uninteresting to nature lovers in general.

Much of the material included in this volume has previously appeared in various periodicals, to the publishers of which the writer would hereby make grateful acknowledgment for their courtesy in waiving their copyright privileges. A number of the journals are given due credit elsewhere in the book.

THE AUTHOR.

THE TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE PREFACE THE ILLUSTRATIONS BEGINNING THE STUDY MAKING NEW FRIENDS WILDWOOD MINSTRELS CHICKADEE WAYS THE NUTHATCH FAMILY A FEATHERED PARASITE A BLUE CANNIBAL A HANDSOME SCISSORSTAIL AN ALPINE ROSY FINCH HAPPENINGS BY THE WAY ODDS AND ENDS WAYSIDE OBSERVATIONS TROUBLE AMONG THE BIRDS A BIRD'S EDUCATION ARE BIRDS SINGERS OR WHISTLERS? BIRD FLIGHT A BIRD'S FOOT

THE ILLUSTRATIONS

AMERICAN SPARROW HAWK . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

CHIPPING SPARROW

YELLOW WARBLER

CHICKADEE

NUTHATCH

BLUE JAY

PEWEE, OR PHOEBE

SONG SPARROW

CARDINAL

WHITE EYED VIREO

BALTIMORE ORIOLE

BOB WHITE, OR QUAIL

ROBIN

MEADOW LARK

BARN SWALLOW

SPOTTED SANDPIPER, OR "PEET WEET"

BEGINNING THE STUDY

Why should not people ride natural history hobbies as well as other kinds of hobbies? Almost all persons become interested in some special study, recreation, or pastime, and their choice is not always as profitable as the selection of a specific branch of nature lore would be. The writer confesses that he would rather pursue a bright, lilting bird or butterfly than a bounding tennis ball or football, and he finds the chase every whit as exciting and the knowledge gained of more permanent value; and he says this without in anywise intending to discountenance healthful games and athletic exercises, but simply to express a preference. What could be more fascinating, for instance, than for a young person or an older person, either, for that matter to spend his leisure in trying to identify every bird in his neighborhood? As a result of such an attempt he would doubtless become so interested in the study of his bird neighbors that he would resolve to learn all he could about their charming habits... Continue reading book >>




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