Homes Without Hands: Being a Description of the Habitations of Animals, Classed According to Their Principle of Construction

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Harper & Brothers, 1866 - Animals - 651 pages
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Page 345 - The prisoner generally becomes fat, and is esteemed a very dainty morsel by the natives, while the poor slave of a husband gets so lean that, on the sudden lowering of the temperature, which sometimes happens after a fall of rain, he is benumbed, falls down, and dies.
Page 309 - ... or rose-coloured silk, and is frequently seen in the narrow alleys of the forest, suspended from the extreme tip of an outstanding leaf by a strong silken thread five or six inches in length. It forms a very conspicuous object, hanging thus in midair. The glossy threads with which it is knitted are stout, and the structure is therefore not liable to be torn by the beaks of insectivorous birds...
Page 253 - I again sat down among the stones in front, where I could see the nest, not concealing myself, but remaining motionless, waiting for the bird's re-appearance. I had not to wait long : a loud whirr, and there she was suspended in the air before her nest. She soon espied me, and came within a foot of my eyes, hovering just in front of my face. I remained still, however, when I heard the whirring of another just above me, perhaps the mate ; but I durst not look towards him lest the turning of my head...
Page iii - HOMES WITHOUT HANDS; a Description of the Habitations of Animals, classed according to their Principle of Construction.
Page 540 - The rook, however, remains in society the year throughout. In flocks it builds its nest, in flocks it seeks for food, and in flocks it retires to roost. About two miles to the eastward of this place are the woods of Nostell Priory, where, from time immemorial, the rooks have retired to pass the night. I suspect, by the observations which I have been able to make on the morning and evening transit of these birds, that there is not another roosting-place for, at least, thirty miles to the westward...
Page 354 - ... at this moment the little widower, or bridegroom, seemed as if he would warble out his very life with eestasy of joy. After remaining about half a minute in, they both flew off, but returned in a few minutes, and instantly began to carry out the eggs, feathers, and some of the sticks, supplying the place of the two latter with materials of the same sort ; and ultimately succeeded in raising a brood of seven young, all of which escaped in safety.
Page 488 - The nest is usually fixed among the horizontal branches of an apple-tree; sometimes in a solitary thorn, crab or cedar, in some retired part of the woods. It is constructed with little art, and scarcely any concavity, of small sticks and twigs, intermixed with green weeds, and blossoms of the common maple.
Page 345 - Kolobeng, that the bird comes forth when the young are fully fledged, at the period when the corn is ripe ; indeed, her appearance abroad with her young, is one of the signs they have for knowing when it ought to be so. As that is about the end of April, the time is between two and three months. She is said sometimes to hatch two eggs, and when the young of these are full-fledged, other two are just out of the egg-shells : she then leaves the nest with the two elder, the orifice is again plastered...
Page 392 - I have at all times watched the same antcities during the last twelve years, and I know that what I stated in my former letter is true. I visited the same cities yesterday, and found the crop of ant-rice growing finely, and exhibiting also the signs of high cultivation, and not a blade of any other kind of grass or seed was to be seen within twelve inches of the circular row x>f ant-rice.
Page 475 - In the midst of this dreary drought, it was wonderful to see those tiny creatures, the ants, running about with their accustomed vivacity. I put the bulb of a thermometer three inches under the soil, in the sun, at midday, and found the mercury to stand at 132 to 134; and if certain kinds of beetles were placed on the surface, they ran about a few seconds and expired. But this broiling heat only augmented the activity of the long-legged black ants...

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