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Wake-Robin   By: (1837-1921)

Wake-Robin by John Burroughs

First Page:

[Illustration: ROBINS IN THE MEADOW]

WAKE ROBIN

BY JOHN BURROUGHS

Second Edition, corrected, enlarged, and illustrated

NEW YORK PUBLISHED BY HURD AND HOUGHTON Cambridge: The Riverside Press 1877

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by JOHN BURROUGHS, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Copyright, 1876, By JOHN BURROUGHS.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge : STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY H. O. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.

PUBLISHERS' NOTE TO SECOND EDITION.

In issuing a second and revised edition of Wake Robin, the author has added a chapter on The Bluebird, and otherwise enlarged and corrected the text here and there. The illustrations are kindly furnished by Prof. Baird, and are taken from the "History of North American Birds," by himself, Dr. Brewer, and Mr. Ridgeway, and published by Little, Brown, & Co., the most complete work on our birds that has yet appeared. The hermit thrush represented is the Western hermit ( Turdus ustulatis ), and we have been obliged to substitute the black fly catcher ( Saponis nigricans ) for the pewee, and the house finch ( Corpodacus frontalis ) for the purple finch; but the difference is hardly appreciable in an uncolored engraving.

November, 1876.

PREFACE.

This is mainly a book about the Birds, or more properly an invitation to the study of Ornithology, and the purpose of the author will be carried out in proportion as it awakens and stimulates the interest of the reader in this branch of Natural History.

Though written less in the spirit of exact science than with the freedom of love and old acquaintance, yet I have in no instance taken liberties with facts, or allowed my imagination to influence me to the extent of giving a false impression or a wrong coloring. I have reaped my harvest more in the woods than in the study; what I offer, in fact, is a careful and conscientious record of actual observations and experiences, and is true as it stands written, every word of it. But what has interested me most in Ornithology, is the pursuit, the chase, the discovery; that part of it which is akin to hunting, fishing, and wild sports, and which I could carry with me in my eye and ear, wherever I went.

I cannot answer with much confidence the poet's inquiry,

"Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?"

but I have done what I could to bring home the "earth and the sky" with the sparrow I heard "singing at dawn on the alder bough." In other words, I have tried to present a live bird, a bird in the woods or the fields, with the atmosphere and associations of the place, and not merely a stuffed and labeled specimen.

A more specific title for the volume would have suited me better, but not being able to satisfy myself in this direction, I cast about for a word thoroughly in the atmosphere and spirit of the book, which I hope I have found in "Wake Robin" the common name of the white Trillium, which blooms in all our woods, and which marks the arrival of all the birds.

CONTENTS.

PAGE I. THE RETURN OF THE BIRDS 9 II. IN THE HEMLOCKS 47 III. ADIRONDAC 83 IV. BIRDS' NESTS 109 V. SPRING AT THE CAPITAL 145 VI. BIRCH BROWSINGS 177 VII. THE BLUEBIRD 211 VIII. THE INVITATION 225

[Illustration: Hermit Thrush.]

THE RETURN OF THE BIRDS.

Spring in our northern climate may fairly be said to extend from the middle of March to the middle of June. At least, the vernal tide continues to rise until the latter date, and it is not till after the summer solstice that the shoots and twigs begin to harden and turn to wood, or the grass to lose any of its freshness and succulency... Continue reading book >>




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