The Natural History of Humming Birds, Volume 1

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W.H. Lizars, 1845
 

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Page 122 - Pennsylvania; and about the tenth of May begins to build its nest. This is generally fixed on the upper side of a horizontal branch, not among the twigs, but on the body of the branch itself. Yet I have known instances where it was attached by the side to an old moss-grown trunk; and others where it was fastened on a strong rank stalk, or weed, in the garden; but these cases are rare. In the woods it very often chooses a white oak sapling to build on; and in the orchard, or garden, selects a pear...
Page 122 - ... the saliva of the bird, giving firmness and consistency to the whole, as well as keeping out moisture. Within this are thick matted layers of the fine wings of certain flying seeds closely laid together : and, lastly, the downy substance from the great mullein and from the stalks of the common fern lines the whole. The base of the nest is continued round the stem of the branch, to which it closely adheres, and, when viewed from below, appears a mere mossy knot or accidental protuberance.
Page 100 - The bird became sufficiently tame to suffer herself to be fed on honey and water during the passage, and hatched two young ones. The mother, however, did not long survive; but the young were brought to England, and continued for some time in the possession of Lady Hammond. The little creatures readily took honey from the lips of Lady Hammond ; and, though one did not live long, the other survived for at least two months from the time of their arrival.
Page 122 - The outward coat is formed of small pieces of a species of bluish grey lichen that vegetates on old trees and fences, thickly glued on with the saliva of the bird, giving firmness and consistency to the whole, as well as keeping out moisture. Within this are thick matted layers of the fine wings of certain flying seeds, closely laid together; and, lastly, the downy substance from the great mullein, and from the stalks of the common fern, lines the whole.
Page 122 - No motion whatever of the lungs could be perceived, on the closest inspection ; though at other times this is remarkably observable ; the eyes were shut, and when touched by the finger, it gave no signs of life or motion. I carried it out to the open air, and placed it directly in the rays of the sun, in a sheltered situation.
Page 27 - I carried a small leather bag, half an ell in length but somewhat less in breadth, furnished on one side with hooks and eyes, so that it could be opened and shut at pleasure. This bag contained one shirt ; two...
Page 122 - Shrink from the splendour of his gorgeous breast. What heavenly tints in mingling radiance fly ! Each rapid movement gives a different dye. Like scales of burnished gold they dazzling show — Now sink to shade — now like a furnace glow.
Page 93 - I have often stopped with pleasure to observe his manoeuvres among the blossoms of the trumpet-flower. When arrived before a thicket of these that are full blown, he poises or suspends himself on wing, for the space of two or three seconds, so steadily that his wings become invisible, or only like a mist...
Page 122 - WHERB is the person, who, on seeing this lovely little creature moving on humming winglets through the air, suspended as if by magic in it, flitting from one flower to another, with motions as graceful as they are light and airy, pursuing its course over our extensive continent, and yielding new delights wherever it is seen — where is the person, I ask of you, kind reader, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow...
Page 73 - O thou poor man ! what hard destiny can have brought thee hither, to a place never visited by any one before ? This is the first time I ever beheld a stranger. Thou miserable creature ! how didst thou come, and wbither wilt thou go ? Dost thou not perceive what houses and habitations we have, and with how much difficulty we go to church...

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