American Ornithology: Or The Natural History of the Birds of the United States, Volume 2

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Page 93 - This excessive fondness for variety, however, in the opinion of some, injures his song. His elevated imitations of the brown thrush are frequently interrupted by the crowing of cocks; and the warblings of the blue-bird, which he exquisitely manages, are mingled with the screaming of swallows, or the cackling of hens ; amidst the simple melody of the...
Page 174 - O, then to your gardens, ye housewives, repair ; Your walks border up ; sow and plant at your leisure, The bluebird will chant from his box such an air, That all your hard toils will seem truly a pleasure. He flits through the orchard, he visits each tree, The red flowering peach, and the apple's sweet blossoms ; He snaps up destroyers wherever they be...
Page 96 - The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark When neither is attended, and I think The nightingale, if she should sing by day, When every goose is cackling, would be thought No better a musician than the wren.
Page 55 - Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead ! In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man, As modest stillness, and humility : But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger...
Page 94 - ... exquisitely manages, are mingled with the screaming of swallows or the cackling of hens ; amidst the simple melody of the robin we are suddenly surprised by the shrill reiterations...
Page 297 - I had left the public road to visit the remains of the breeding place near Shelbyville, and was traversing the woods with my grin, on my way to Frankfort, when, about one o'clock, the pigeons, which I had observed flying the greater part of the morning northerly, began to return, in such immense numbers as I never before had witnessed. Coming to an opening, by the side of a creek called the Benson, where I had a more uninterrupted view, I was astonished at their appearance. They were flying, with...
Page 297 - I observed them, in large bodies that continued to pass for six or eight minutes, and these again were followed by other detached bodies, all moving in the same south-east direction, till after six in the evening. The great breadth of front which this mighty multitude preserved, would seem to intimate a corresponding breadth of their breeding place, which by several gentlemen who had lately passed through part of it, was stated to me at several miles.
Page 12 - The notes of this solitary bird, from the ideas which are naturally associated with them, seem like the voice of an old friend, and are listened to by almost all with great interest. At first they issue from some retired part of the woods, the glen, or mountain ; in a few evenings, perhaps, we hear them from the adjoining coppice, the garden fence, the road before the door, and even the roof of the dwelling-house, — hours after the family have retired to rest.
Page 33 - ... met with more than one man who disliked the Martins and would not permit them to settle about his house. This was a penurious close-fisted German, who hated them because, as he said, " they eat his peas." I told him he must certainly be mistaken, as I never knew an instance of Martins eating peas ; but he replied with coolness that he had many times seen them himself "blaying near the hife, and going schnip, schnap," by which I understood that it was his bees that had been the sufferers ; and...
Page 92 - The ease, elegance, and rapidity of his movements, the animation of his eye, and the intelligence he displays in listening and laying up lessons from almost every species of the feathered creation within his hearing, are really surprising, and mark the peculiarity of his genius.

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