In Berkshire Fields

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Harper & brothers, 1920 - Natural history - 312 pages

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Page 94 - Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds : Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower, The moping owl does to the Moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Page 284 - Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.
Page 5 - To show the astonishing capacity of birds' stomachs and to reveal the extent to which man is indebted to birds for the destruction of noxious insects, the following facts are given as learned by stomach examinations made by assistants of the Biological Survey: A tree swallow's stomach was found to contain 40 entire chinch bugs and fragments of many others, besides 10 other species of insects. A bank swallow in Texas devoured 68 cotton-boll weevils, one of the worst insect pests that ever invaded...
Page 6 - Cal., contained 1,900 black olive scales and 300 plant lice. A killdeer's stomach taken in November in Texas contained over 300 mosquito larvae. A flicker's stomach held 28 white grubs. A nighthawk's stomach collected in Kentucky contained 34 May beetles, the adult form of white grubs. Another nighthawk, from New York, had eaten 24 clover-leaf weevils and 375 ants. Still another nighthawk had eaten 340 grasshoppers, 52 bugs, 3 beetles, 2 wasps, and a spider.
Page 76 - As fits a feathered lord of land ; Flew near, with soft wing grazed my hand, Hopped on the bough, then, darting low, Prints his small impress on the snow, Shows feats of his gymnastic play, Head downward, clinging to the spray.
Page 48 - bursting up above the woods where they were perching, like the black fragments of a powder-mill just exploded.
Page 6 - ... mechanical devices is illustrated by the forcibly splitting pod, the twisted pod, the spearlike fruited grasses whose twisted awns aid in entering the earth and the cleistogamous flowered plant which buries its seeds in the earth. Birds destroy large quantities of weed seeds. Mr. HW Henshaw* states that a ring-necked pheasant's crop from Washington contained 8,000 seeds of chickweed and a dandelion head. Birds of the sparrow family, according to the same authority, feed largely on the seeds of...
Page 86 - If they hunt over a circle of only thirty miles in diameter (and probably it is very much more) the territory a pair can cover is considerable. The Cooper and sharp-shinned hawks (smallish hawks, of fifteen to eighteen and ten to twelve inches, respectively) can be told apart because the Cooper has a rounded tail, the sharp-shinned a square tail. Both may be told from the small falcons — ie, the so-called sparrow and pigeon hawks, because the falcons have long, pointed wings, the hawks short, rounded...
Page 6 - Texas devoured 68 cotton-boll weevils, one of the worst insect pests that ever invaded the United States; and 35 cliff swallows had taken an average of 18 boll weevils each. Two stomachs of pine siskins from Haywards, Cal., contained 1,900 black olive scales and 300 plant lice.
Page 99 - ... him by a blow on top of the head and carries him off. One of his curious tricks is to impale his prey on a thorn or the barb of a fence. If you have ever found a small bird or mouse thus impaled, he was probably put there by a shrike. The captor perhaps was later scared away, or he may even have...

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