mented with meshes, tufts and twisted threads of snowy white cobweb. These decorations are the features of the vireo's handicraft.

7. But there are architects and masons among the birds as well as weavers and artists. Even the catbird's nest in the tangled cedar branches is a clever piece of bird architecture. Gnarled twigs are loosely bound together with strips of bark or rags, or artfully interwoven until the nest is firm and equal to one season's needs.

8. Robins are careless builders and pay a due penalty. The loose masonry of their nests is often broken up by a drenching rain, and the fledglings perish on the ground. Beams in outbuildings and corners in rail fences offer the robins greater security from storm, but not from the red squirrel's invasion.

9. The phcebe is a mason too. The home site is carefully chosen. Some cranny on the piazza or in an outbuilding may be favored with a nest. It is built of mud and moss, is exquisitely finished, and furnished with a mattress of feathers or hair.

10. The homes of the swallows are interesting too. The bracket-like nest of the barn-swallow may be found beneath the span of a bridge or under a beam in the barn. It is constructed of mud and straws and well lined with feathers. 'Tis a clever arrangement of crude materials!

11. The chimney-swift's house consists of a lattice of twigs glued together with saliva or treegum, and fastened to the inside of a chimney or hollow tree. It usually accommodates two broods, though it is a scanty structure.

[graphic][merged small]

Bank-swallows tunnel in the side of a sandy cliff and line the excavation with feathers shed by neighboring birds.

12. Many are the attractive homes built by the birds. Among the rocks overgrown with lichen, and in the tall meadow grasses, as well as in the trees and cosy crannies, bird houses may be found. Birds adapt themselves to their surroundings, use the material at hand, and prove by their happy ingenuity that "only poor workmen find fault with their tools."



Part 1.


1. On a hot summer day it is cool and pleasant to walk by the waterside.

2. On the lake in the park we may see some beautiful swans. The swan, like the duck, belongs to the goose family.

3. The swan is the largest bird found in this country. We like best to see it in the water, because it is such a graceful swimmer. It seldom comes on land, and always looks rather awkward there. When sailing on the water its size and beauty make it, indeed, a noble-looking bird.

« PreviousContinue »