DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
STATE OF OHIO
In Accordance with Section 358 of the General Code of Ohio this
Arbor and Bird Day Manual
is Issued for the Benefit of the
SCHOOLS OF OUR STATE
MRS. GRACE R. CLIFTON
Issued by the
STATE COMMISSIONER OF COMMON SCHOOLS
Columbus, Ohio: The F. J. Heer Printing Co. 1913
STATE OF OHIO
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR.
By authority of the law of the State of Ohio, Friday, April 4th, 1913, is hereby named and set apart as
The statutes provide that those in charge of public schools and institutions of learning are required to devote at least two hours to giving information to the pupils and students concerning the value and interest of forestry and the duty of the public to protect the birds thereof and also for planting forest trees.
It is well that our people have come to a full appreciation of the commercial, as well as the sentimental value of these things. This appreciation was arrived at through the proper inculcation into the minds of the young of the importance of observing the matters of nature upon which we are all so dependent.
But let us not confine our observance of Arbor Day alone to the schools and institutions of learning. Let us at least carry the spirit of the day also into our homes as well. And above all, let us be mindful at this time of the great scheme of nature wherein the humblest plant and flower, as well as the lordliest of the animal creation, has its proper place.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the Great Seal of the State to be affixed at Columbus, this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord, One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirteen.
By the Governor:
JAMES M. COX.
CHAS. H. GRAVES Secretary of State.
SECTION 358. The state commissioner of common schools shall issue each year a manual for arbor day exercises. The manual shall contain matters relating to forestry and birds, including a copy of such laws relating to the protection of song and insectivorous birds as he deems proper. He shall transmit copies of the manual to the superintendents of city, village, special and township schools and to the clerks of boards of education, who shall cause them to be distributed among the teachers of the schools under their charge. On arbor day, and other days when convenient, the teachers shall cause such laws to be read to the scholars of their respective schools and shall encourage them to aid in the protection of such birds.
SECTION 7688. Not later than April the governor of the state shall appoint and set apart one day in the spring season of each year, as a day on which those in charge of the public schools and institutions of learning under state control, or state patronage, for at least two hours must give information to the pupils and students concerning the value and interest of forests, the duty of the public to protect the birds thereof, and also for planting forest trees. Such a day shall be known as Arbor Day.
SECTION 1409. No persons shall catch, kill, injure, pursue or have in his possession either dead or alive, or purchase, expose for sale, transport or ship to a port within or without the state a turtle or mourning dove, sparrow, nuthatch, warbler, flicker, vireo, wren, American robin, catbird, tanager, bobolink, blue jay, oriole, grosbeck or redbird, creeper, redstart, waxwing, woodpecker, humming bird, killdeer, swallow, blue bird, blackbird, meadow lark, bunting, starling, redwing, purple martin, brown thresher, American goldfinch, chewink or ground robin, pewee or phoebe bird, chickadee, fly catcher, knat catcher, mouse hawk, whippoorwill, snow bird, titmouse, gull, eagle, buzzard, or any wild bird other than a game bird. No part of the plumage, skin or body of such bird shall be sold or had in possession for sale.
SECTION 1410. No person shall disturb or destroy the eggs, nests or young of a bird named in the preceding section; but nothing of the preceding section shall prohibit the killing of a chicken hawk, blue hawk, cooper hawk, sharp skinned hawk, crow, great horned owl, or English sparrow, or the destroying of their nests, or prohibit the owner or duly authorized agent of the premises from killing blackbirds at any time, except on Sunday, when they are found to be a nuisance or are injuring grain or other property.
This Arbor and Bird Day Annual has been compiled and published for the benefit of the teachers of Ohio. It is our purpose to have this book used from the time it is received until the close of the school term. We find that but few books written about birds and their habits come into the hands of the boys and girls; therefore, we have attempted to include as much additional information as possible concerning the most common birds of Ohio. You will find that the articles about birds are but a continuation of bird study found in the 1912 Arbor and Bird Day Annual. We are under obligations to "Nature and Life", a publication of the Audubon Society, for their articles, for which credit is given after each selection. Johnny Appleseed is a character with whom all the boys and girls should become acquainted. C. L. Martzolf's article about this peculiar man should be read carefully. F. B. Pearson contributed a fine description and history of the "Logan Elm". Charles DeGarmo of Cornell University generously contributed two poems that have not appeared in print before this publication.
G. R. C.
THE CLASS TREE.
Grow thou and flourish well Ever the story tell, Of this glad day; Long may thy branches raise To heaven our grateful praise Waft them on sunlight rays To God away.
Deep in the earth to-day, Safely thy roots we lay, Tree of our love; Grow thou and flourish long; Ever our grateful song Shall its glad notes prolong To God above.
"Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees," On this glad day: Bless Thou each student band O'er all our happy land; Teach them Thy love's command. Great God, we pray.
—Emma S. Thomas, Schoharie, N.Y., in Teacher's Magazine.
THIS IS ARBOR DAY.
(TUNE: LIGHTLY ROW.)
Arbor Day, Arbor Day, See, the fields are fresh and green, All is bright, cheerful sight, After winter's night. Birds are flying in the air, All we see is fresh and fair; Bowers green now are seen, Flowers peep between.
Swaying trees, swaying trees, Rocking gently in the breeze, Dressed so gay, fine array, For this is Arbor Day. While we plant our trees so dear, All the others list to hear How we sing, in the spring, And our voices ring.
Here we stand, here we stand, Round the tree, a royal band; Music floats, cheering notes, Sweetly, gaily floats. March along with heads so high While our tree is standing nigh; Step away, light and gay, On this Arbor Day.
WHY WE PLANT THE TREE.
We plant the tree for the shade it gives; For the shade of a leafy tree On a hot summer's day when the hot sun shines, Is pleasant for all to see.
We plant the tree for the dear birds' sakes, For they can take their rest, While the mate sings of love and cheer To the mother on her nest.
We plant the tree to please the eye, For who does not like to see, Whether on hill or plain or dale, The beauty of a tree?
We plant the tree for the wood to use In winter to keep us warm, And for hall and church and store and house, To have shelter from the storm.
WHAT THE TREE TEACHES US.
I am taught by the oak To be rugged and strong In defence of the right; In defiance of wrong.
I have learned from the maple, That beauty, to win The love all hearts, Must have sweetness within.
The beech with its branches Widespreading and low, Awakes in my heart Hospitality's glow.
The pine tells of constancy, In its sweet voice; It whispers of hope, Till sad mortals rejoice.
ARBOR DAY FETE.
BY GRACE A. LUSK, MILWAUKEE.
(Stage, if possible, represents scene out-of-doors; raised throne to right.)
Every season hath its pleasures, Which we sing in joyous measures; In Summer's sunshine, rich and sweet, Blossom flowers, ripens wheat; Autumn puts the wood aflame, Poets give her beauties fame; Winter comes—a world of snow And crisp, clear air make faces glow; Spring awakens Nature dear, Song birds chant 'neath skies so clear, Every season hath its pleasures, Which we sing with joyous measures.
Enter boy and girl (with flag and drum).
In Summer comes the joyous Fourth, I beat my drum for all I'm worth;
Our crackers make a joyous noise, For girls like fun as well as boys.
(The holidays, after speaking, step to left and right of throne.)
Enter girl (in Puritan dress).
After reaping harvest's gold Thanks we render, for manifold The blessings are each passing year, Thanksgiving is a day of cheer.
Enter girl (in coat and furs, arms full of packages and holly).
On the night before Christmas There came to our house, A right jolly old elf, as still as a mouse; He filled all the stockings, Trimmed each Christmas tree, Made our Christmas merry—a good saint is he!
Enter very small boy (carrying a big book under his arm with 1913 printed on it).
The wild bells rang across the snow, The old year went—though loath to go; The New Year came, while bells were ringing; His days of joy and sorrow bringing.
Enter girl (in white trimmed with red hearts).
Mine is a day of piercing darts, Flowers sweet, and big red hearts, Cupids tender, verses fine, I'm the happy valentine.
Enter two boys (carrying flags).
Birthdays of patriots, brave and true, In February drear, make cheer for you.
Lincoln so kind, was everyone's friend;
Washington did a young nation defend.
Chorus (to Holidays).
Once, each year, supreme you reign, O'er the lads and lassies in your train, Now comes our gentle springtime fay, The gladsome, happy Arbor Day.
Enter Arbor Day (in white, crown of flowers, accompanied by two small maids with flowers, accompanist softly plays Mendelssohn's Spring Song).
Each holiday brings joy and gladness— Makes us banish thoughts of sadness, Arbor Day, your reign is brief,— But every blossom, every leaf, Every bird of wood or field Its fullest homage now doth yield. May you be a happy queen, We, happy subjects are, I ween.
Arbor Day (while Chorus leads her to throne).
Thank you for your greeting hearty, This will be a merry party.
Our friends, the children, in meadows at play, Are coming to join our glad holiday.
School children (with baskets and bouquets of flowers pass to right of stage, salute in military fashion, saying):
Dear Arbor Day, your subjects loyal, Give you greetings, hearty, royal.
Thank you, friends, greeting sweeter, Never yet a queen had greet her.
Enter ten girls (in white with flowers in hands and in their hair; they quickly and lightly run across stage and form in line; each courtesies as she says her lines).
I'm the queen, for I'm the Rose, The proudest, sweetest flower that blows.
I'm shy Violet, from the wood, You know me by my purple hood.
I'm the Dandelion yellow, Some call me a saucy fellow.
I'm Anemone, shy and tender, On my stalk so tall and slender.
I'm Morning Glory that climbs the wall, My trumpet flowers softly call.
I'm Buttercup with a chalice to hold The rich warm sunshine's yellow gold.
I'm Apple-blossom, my pink dresses The bee admires, so he confesses.
I'm Waterlily, my golden heart Keeps the sunbeam's glancing dart.
I'm shy Crocus, the first to show My pretty head from beneath the snow.
I'm sleepy Poppy, from my home in the wheat, I've come with the others our new queen to greet.
All in unison:
Dear Arbor Day, your subjects loyal, Give you greeting, hearty royal.
Thank you, blossoms, sweet and tender, I your kindness shall remember.
Rose (turning to flowers and holidays).
Nature laughs in gleeful joy, In songbirds trill, in flowerlets coy, Shall we, also, voices raise, Sing our gentle spring queen's praise?
(School children, Holidays and Flowers sing while Flowers join hands and dance about in circle.)
(Tune: Campbells are coming.)
Springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la, Brooklets run clear, tra-la, tra-la, Birds are winging, flowers springing, For springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la.
(Alternate girls step inside circle, face outward, other circle about.)
The gentle May breeze, tra-la, tra-la, Plays o'er the green leas, tra-la, tra-la, Dandelions twinkle, violets sprinkle, The sward 'neath the trees, tra-la, tra-la.
(Each girl in inner circle gives her right hand to left hand of girl in outer circle, thus in "wheel form" they circle singing.)
The garden flowers gay, tra-la, tra-la, Are here to stay, tra-la, tra-la, The rich red roses, and all pretty posies, Say springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la.
(Dropping hands in single file they pass to back of stage singing.)
Springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la, Brooklets run clear, tra-la, tra-la, Birds are winging, flowers springing, For springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la.
Thank you, friends, greeting sweeter, Never yet a queen had greet her. But who comes now in trim array So straight and proud,—tell me, pray?
Trees enter (carrying budded boughs of trees; they march and countermarch in simple march figures, while piano plays "Campbells are coming," or "Narcissus." They form in line, each saluting queen as he speaks his line.)
The Maple gives us grateful shade;
The Laurel's honors never fade;
The Chestnut's flowers are fine to see;
But the Apple's are better, thinks the bee;
The Fir tree softly seems to sigh;
The Spruce lifts up its head so high;
The Elm tree's beauty you'll remark;
The Birch is proud of its silver bark;
The Cedar tree is stately and tall,
But the hale old Oak is king of all.
Trees in unison:
Arbor Day, your subjects loyal, Give you greetings; hearty, royal.
(March to music to back of stage behind Flowers.)
Thank you, trees, from lowland and hill, I appreciate your hearty good will, Are others still coming to our fete? We welcome them, though they be late.
Enter ten small girls (run in on tiptoe lightly, waving arms while the others sing.)
The birds are flying, tra-la, tra-la, Their strong wings a-trying, tra-la, tra-la, From east and west, they come with the rest, For Springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la.
First girl (courtesies):
The Robin has a pretty vest,
The Bluebird sweetly sings his best;
The Bob-o-Link trills in its meadow home,
The Bluejay calls in a shrill loud tone,
The Blackbird sings in the tall marsh rushes,
But sweeter, softer, call the Thrushes,
The Oriole whistles from its swinging nest,
But the Song Sparrow sings the sweetest and best.
The Meadow Lark chants his mad, merry glee,
Woodpecker just taps, so busy is he.
Dear Arbor Day, your subjects loyal, Give you greeting, hearty, royal.
A queen whose welcomed by the birds, Feels joy too deep for idle words. Dear friends, my subjects, it is May; Let us sing Spring's roundelay.
(Here may be introduced groups of the charming flower songs by Mrs. Gaynor, bird songs by Nevin, simple folk dances, and appropriate Spring poems, etc., as part of the May Day fete.)
This day has been so full of pleasure, I cannot yet my sadness measure. And scatter our joyousness far and wide.
(Exit, first the Birds, then the Trees, the flowers, the School children, the Holidays, then Arbor Day and Chorus, singing.)
The birds are trilling, tra-la, tra-la, Their glad songs are filling, tra-la, tra-la, The wood and dale, the meadow and vale, The Springtime is come, tra-la, tra-la.
The gentle May breeze, tra-la, tra-la, Plays o'er the green leas, tra-la, tra-la, Dandelions twinkle, violets sprinkle, The sward 'neath the trees, tra-la, tra-la.
The garden flowers gay, tra-la, tra-la, Are here to stay, tra-la, tra-la, The rich red rosies and all the posies, Say Springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la.
Springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la, Brooklets run clear, tra-la, tra-la, Birds are winging, flowers springing, For Springtime is here, tra-la, tra-la.
(Simple costumes make this more effective. All the girls wear white gowns—Chorus has a simple Greek dress. Arbor Day a crown of flowers and scepter, her maids baskets of flowers; the flower girls wear chaplets of blossoms, artificial ones are best; The Holidays can wear appropriate dress; the School-Children enter as if from play with their baskets, dolls, flowers, fishing rods, etc.)
A BROKEN WING.
In front of my pew sits a maiden— A little brown wing in her hat, With its touches of tropical azure, And the sheen of the sun upon that.
Through the colored pane shines a glory, By which the vast shadows are stirred, But I pine for the spirit and splendor, That painted the wing of that bird.
The organ rolls down its great anthem, With the soul of a song it is blent; But for me, I am sick for the singing, Of one little song that is spent.
The voice of the preacher is gentle; "No sparrow shall fall to the ground;" But the poor broken wing on the bonnet, Is mocking the merciful sound.
HUNTING THE WILD.
One Christmas, over forty years ago, my grandfather sent to me from Colorado a real Indian bow and arrows. It was a beautiful bow with a sinew string and wrapped in the middle and at the ends with sinews. The arrow-heads were iron spikes, bound in place with wrapping of fine sinews. The eagle feathers' tips were also bound with sinews.
It was a beautiful, snow-clad Christmas morning, and I remember how I yearned to go with this bow and arrows into the cedar grove to shoot the birds feeding there. This yearning must have expressed itself in some way, for I distinctly remember how a man with my bow and arrows led the way, and I in restrained delight followed him to the cedar grove. I remember how he maneuvered among the trees, and with keen eyes watched for an opportunity to make a shot.
He stopped, whispered to me, pointed to a bird in the trunk of a cedar. Raising the bow, it bent taut under his firm, cautious pull. "Whiz," went the arrow, and there, pinned to the tree with the iron spike, fluttered a hairy woodpecker. To my wondering child-mind it was a great feat—my inherent instinct for hunting the wild approved and applauded.
That very phase of human nature is what we are now trying to eliminate from the present and coming generation.
FROM NATURE AND CULTURE.
We have grown to expect at least one wren's nest on our porch or elsewhere in our yard each year; so, as usual, we put our boxes this Spring with notices, figuratively: "For wrens only—no sparrows need apply."
Knowing Jenny's fastidious taste, we furnish several boxes, thus giving her a choice. There is but little we would not do to induce her to live in our neighborhood, and it would be a great disappointment to us if she would not accept one of our houses, rent free.
This year, 1912, she carried twigs to three different boxes before she settled down to business. When this occurred, to our amusement, she went to the other two boxes for twigs, bringing them to the chosen site, instead of getting them from the ground, which for obvious reasons would have been much easier. Mr. Wren is not so hard to suit. Anything is good enough, in his estimation, much to the disgust of his spouse.
One day he made bold to select a box and carried in a few twigs to lay the "cornerstone" of a structure. Soon Mrs. Wren came upon the scene and in unmistakable language told him what she thought of him. Still scolding, this Xantippe of birds threw out the material he had brought, and, meekly submitting, he accepted her choice of a new location.
We always have to reckon with the sparrows—"avian rats," as some one has aptly called them. We do our best in helping Jenny drive them away by emptying out the stuff they bring in, by shooting them away, and even by use of the air gun. When absent one day for several hours we found, upon our return, the following things in the box: a rusty nail, an old safety pin, a hairpin, an elastic fixture, besides the usual bits of grass, weeds, sticks, roots, etc.
After emptying this out, it gave Mrs. Wren her inning once more, and she improved the opportunity; for she built an unusually fine nest, which is not altogether apparent in this illustration. The box containing the nest was placed upon a ledge of the porch and so could be easily taken down for inspection.
The material first used in the nest was twigs found under a nearby plum tree. Then it was lined with grass, horse hair, a blue jay's feather, some hen's feathers, and some cottony material like lint. Jenny finally completed her boudoir by festooning a snake skin about it. When the nestlings began to walk about over the nest, this skin broke up into bits; so does not show in the picture.
This nest was begun May 4, and the first egg was laid May 12. One more egg was added each day until eight were counted. They began to hatch the 30th, thus celebrating Memorial Day. Seven eggs hatched and the little ones kept the old birds more than busy, early and late, feeding them.
First the tiniest little spiders and bugs were brought. Then came larger ones, and finally beetles, crickets, large spiders, etc., were dropped into the yawning mouths. So fast they grew, one could almost see the progress from day to day. They posed for this picture June 17, leaving the nest the 18th, and on the 19th the parent birds began their second nest in another box on the same porch.
The first egg was laid the 23rd, thus taking but four days in the construction of this nest, while the first required eight. As a matter of fact it was not so carefully made. This time only five eggs were laid, and at the present moment Mr. Wren is singing encouragement and appreciation to his brooding mate; and, although the thermometer registers 98 deg. in the shade, his notes joyously ripple out loud and clear, not only to Jenny's delight, but to ours as well.
I'd ruther lay out here among the trees, With the singing birds and the bumble bees, A-knowing that I can do as I please, Than to live what folks call a life of ease— Up thar in the city.
For I don't 'xactly understan' Where the comfort is for any man, In walking hot bricks and using a fan, And enjoying himself as he says he can— Up thar in the city.
It's kinder lonesome, mebbe, you'll say, A-livin' out here day after day, In this kinder easy careless way, But an hour out here's better'n a day— Up thar in the city.
As for that, just look at the flowers aroun', A-peepin' their heads up all over the groun,' And the fruit a-bendin' the trees 'way down; You don't find sech things as these in town— Or, ruther, in the city.
As I said afore, sech things as these— The flowers, the birds, and the bumble bees, And a-livin' out here among the trees, Where you can take your ease and do 's you please— Make it better'n in the city.
Now, all the talk don't 'mount to snuff 'Bout this kinder life a-being rough, And I'm sure it's plenty good enough, And 'tween you and me, 'taint as tough— As livin' in the city.
* * * * *
"The woods were made for hunters of dreams, The streams for fishers of song; To those who hunt thus, go gunless for game, The woods and the streams belong."
DAME NATURE'S RECIPE (APRIL).
Take a dozen little clouds And a patch of blue; Take a million raindrops, As many sunbeams, too.
Take a host of violets, A wandering little breeze, And myriads of little leaves Dancing on the trees.
Then mix them well together, In the very quickest way, Showers and sunshine, birds and flowers, And you'll have an April day.
HATTIE WASHBURN, GOODWIN, S.D.
"The grouse is a very fine bird." The sentence leaped out of the conversation and caught my wandering attention. With a quick smile I looked toward our rather corpulent guest across the table. I love birds, and a word in their praise ever fills me with pleasure, not alone because one delights in the praise of whatever he cherishes, but because the expression of such a sentiment indicates that the speaker is one who will befriend the birds or at least leave them unmolested.
"Take them when they are properly prepared," our guest continued, and I lowered my eyes to my plate in disgust. He appreciated their value only as a palatable dish to feed his fat body or possibly as a target for his gun.
Such is the general attitude, it would seem, toward the grouse family, from the ruffled grouse of the wooded portions of the Eastern States to the prairie chicken of our vast plains, the dusky grouse of the mountain regions of the West and all their related species.
The drumming of the ruffled grouse so harmoniously breaking the stillness of the woodland is dear to the nature-lover; no sound is more characteristic of the prairies than the prairie chicken's melodious booking that echoes afar like the low notes of a vast organ; the dusky grouse's booming call, that may seem to come from a distance even when the bird is near by, has its place in the great symphony of nature, yet these musical sounds are being steadily and relentlessly silenced by the gun of the sportsman. By this silencing that costs the lives of countless hundreds of innocent and harmless birds, the agriculturist is being robbed of one of his most powerful allies in the endless battle against insects.
Nature has given the grouse tribe large, palatable bodies and characteristics which render them easy marks for the hunter, with only zest enough to the quest to make these birds what sportsmen call "good game." She has also endowed the grouse with food habits which should cause them to live and multiply under the protection of man. The former characteristics, however, seem most strongly to attract mankind in general, and the grouse is known as game rather than the insect-eating bird that it is.
Laws have been made for the protection of the pinnated grouse, or prairie chicken, and others of their tribe. These laws have been enforced and have aided materially in the great work of bird-protection. They have also, it is regrettable to state, been violated and ignored. Too often the land owner is too lenient; being blinded to his own interests or being keenly alive to the need of protecting the grouse within his realm, is powerless to act because of lack of evidence.
The prairie hen nests upon the ground, choosing her own nesting site, performing the duties of incubation, and rearing her young unaided by the cock. There are few wooers in bird-life so ardent as the pinnated grouse, yet he that joins in the mating ceremony of booming morning after morning on some chosen booming-ground or fiercely contests with other males for the favor of the chosen one deserts her soon after the winning.
Thus the eggs and young, having only one protector, are unduly exposed. Since they are always on the ground until the young are able to fly their loss is great. It is estimated that half of the prairie hens' eggs are destroyed by fire, water and other causes. Wet seasons are very injurious to the prairie chicks, and at all times they are in danger from skunks and other prowlers, save through the cunning and courageous protection of their devoted mother.
These unavoidable dangers should appeal to the farmer to render the prairie chicken his kindness and protection whenever he can. He has few, if any, greater allies, for during the rearing of the young and throughout the summer the food of the prairie chicken consists principally of insects, chiefly of the destructive grasshopper. During the winter they feed upon weed-seed and scattered grain. Of course, at times the prairie chickens make slight inroads upon the crops, but these are many times repaid by the noxious weed-seeds they destroy.
The wild rose is one of the most beautiful flowers on the prairie. It is also one of the most troublesome weeds, in the destruction of which the prairie chicken has no superior, for one of their principal foods in winter is the wild rose fruit.
The beneficial characteristics of the prairie chicken, varied by environment and ensuing tendencies of the birds, hold true of the entire grouse family. Wherever found, the grouse are considered good game birds. Were their good works in the destruction of weeds and insects as well known as is their desirability for the table or for targets for the sportsmen, they would be regarded as one of the most valuable among the agriculturist's feathered friends.
—Reprint from Nature and Culture.
There was once a little bunny, In a little wooden hutch; He'd a happy little master, And he loved him very much.
But that bunny wasn't happy, Tho' he'd such a pleasant home, For he thought 'twould be much nicer In the world outside to roam.
So he asked the pretty ponies, And both answered with a neigh, "Don't be silly; we should miss you, If you were to run away."
So that foolish little bunny Whispered, "Thank you, very much," And went back again, contented, To his little wooden hutch.
OHIO'S PIONEER TREE-PLANTER.
BY CLEMENT L. MARTZOLFF, OHIO UNIVERSITY, ATHENS, OHIO.
In the year 1806, a man living in Jefferson County, happened to look out upon the Ohio River one day when he saw floating down with the tide a strange looking craft. It consisted of two ordinary canoes lashed together. The crew was one very oddly-dressed man and the cargo comprised racks of appleseeds. This singular man was John Chapman, better known as "Johnny Appleseed," from his penchant for gathering apple-seeds at the cider-presses in western Pennsylvania, bringing them to Ohio, planting them at suitable places, so when the pioneer came he would find an abundance of young apple trees ready for planting.
This was the mission of "Johnny Appleseed" who conscientiously believed it had been heaven sent. He was deeply religious and his faith taught him he could live as complete a life in thus serving his fellow-men, as in perhaps some higher (?) sphere of usefulness. Certainly the result of his labors proved a great blessing to the Ohio pioneer.
Very little is known of Johnny Appleseed before he came to Ohio. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the opening of the Revolutionary War, 1775. As a boy he loved to roam the woods, searching for plants and flowers. He was a lover of nature in all its forms. He studied the birds as well as the flowers. He loved the song of the brook as he did that of the birds. At night he would lie upon his back and gaze into the sky and whether he studied flowers or stars, brooks or birds, he saw God's hand-writing in them all. It is thought he came westward with his half-brother about the year 1801, and located somewhere about Pittsburgh. His father, Nathaniel Chapman, shortly afterward became one of the residents of Marietta and later moved to Duck Creek, in Washington county, where he died. "Johnny" never spoke much about his previous life. It was said by some that he had been once disappointed in love and this accounted for his never marrying and for living the life he did. This is not probable. Such stories are told about every old bachelor and since they are so common, they lose their value.
What educational advantages our tree-planter enjoyed, we do not know, either. But it is certain he possessed a fair knowledge of the rudiments of learning. He was a great reader for one of his time and his mode of life, and moreover, he was a clear thinker.
There are some who would call "Johnny Appleseed" "queer;" others, "freakish;" again, "eccentric," etc. This peculiar, odd personage may be described by all these terms. But the ruling passion of his life was to plant apple-seeds, because he loved to see trees grow and because he loved his fellow-men. The world has often been made better because there was a man who possessed but one idea, and he worked it for all it was worth.
"Johnny's" methods were to keep up with the van of pioneerdom and move along with it to the westward. So we find him in the early years of the century in western Pennsylvania, then in Ohio, and after forty-five years of service to mankind, he dies and is buried near Ft. Wayne in Indiana.
His nurseries were usually located in the moist land along some stream. Here he would plant the seeds, surround the patch with a brush fence and wander off to plant another one elsewhere. Returning at intervals to prune and care for them, he would soon have thrifty trees growing all over the country.
He did not plant these trees for money, but the pioneer got them oftentimes for old clothes, although his usual price for each tree was "a fip-penny-bit."
The first nursery Johnny planted in Ohio was on George's Run in Jefferson county. Others he planted along the river front, when he moved into the interior of the state. For years he lived in a little rude hut in Richland county near the present town of Perrysville, from where he operated his nurseries in the counties of Richland, Ashland, Wayne, Knox, and Tuscarawas.
On his journeys across the country he usually camped in the woods, although the pioneer latch-string was always hanging out for "Apple-seed John." He carried his cooking utensils with him. His mush-pan serving him for a hat. When he would accept the hospitality of a friend, he preferred making his bed on the floor. He wore few clothes and went bare-footed the most of his time, even when the weather was quite cold. For a coat a coffee sack with holes cut for neck and arms was ample.
There were plenty of Indians in those days and they were troublesome, too, since several massacres occurred in that region. But they never did any harm to our hero. No doubt they thought he was quite a "Medicine Man." Once, during the War of 1812, when the red-men were at their depredations and all the people were flocking to the Mansfield block-house for protection, it was necessary to get a message to Mt. Vernon, asking for the assistance of the militia. It was thirty miles away and the trip had to be made in the night. Johnny volunteered his services. Bare-footed and bare-headed he made his way along the forest trails, where wild animals and probably wild Indians were lurking. The next morning he had returned and with him was the needed help.
He loved everything that lived. He harmed no animal, and if he found any that were wounded or mis-treated, he would care for them as best he could. Once when a snake had bitten him, he instinctively killed it. He never quite forgave himself for this "ungodly passion."
He, as has already been stated, was deeply religious. He was a disciple of Emanuel Swedenborg, and he always carried some religious books about with him, in the bosom of his shirt. These books he would give away. Often he would divide a book into several pieces, so it would go farther. When he visited the pioneers, he would always hold worship and discuss religious subjects with them.
But Johnny was getting old. The first trees he planted had for years been bearing fruit. Still he kept planting and caring for new nurseries. Once in Ft. Wayne he heard that some cattle had broken into one of them and were destroying his trees. The distance was twenty miles. He started at once to protect his property. It was in the early spring of 1845. The weather was raw and the trip was too much for him. He sought shelter at a pioneer home, partook of a bowl of bread and milk for his supper, and before retiring for the night as usual held worship.
The family never forgot that evening. How the simple-minded old man read from the Book, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Then he prayed and as he spoke with God, he grew eloquent. His words made a deep impression on all who heard him.
In the morning he was found to have a high fever. Pneumonia had developed during the night. A physician was called, but the age of the man and the exposure to which he had subjected himself for so many years were against him. With the sunshine of joy and satisfaction upon his countenance as though his dying eyes were already looking into the new Jerusalem, "God's finger touched him and he slept."
* * * * * *
So he kept traveling, far and wide, 'Till his old limbs failed him and he died. He said, at last: "'Tis a comfort to feel I've done some good in the world, though not a great deal."
Weary travelers journeying West, In the shade of his trees find pleasant rest, And often they start with glad surprise At the rosy fruit that around them lies.
And if they inquire whence came such trees Where not a bough once swayed in the breeze? The reply still comes as they travel on, "These trees were planted by Appleseed John."
(From "Appleseed John" by Maria Child.)
* * * * * *
Grandpa stopped, and from the grass at our feet, Picked up an apple, large, juicy, and sweet; Then took out his jack-knife, and, cutting a slice, Said, as we ate it, "Isn't it nice To have such apples to eat and enjoy? Well, there weren't very many when I was a boy, For the country was new—e'en food was scant; We had hardly enough to keep us from want, And this good man, as he rode around, Oft eating and sleeping upon the ground, Always carried and planted appleseeds— Not for himself, but for others' needs. The appleseeds grew, and we, to-day, Eat of the fruit planted by the way. While Johnny—bless him—is under the sod— His body is—ah! he is with God; For, child, though it seemed a trifling deed, For a man just to plant an appleseed, The apple-tree's shade, the flowers, the fruit, Have proved a blessing to man and to brute. Look at the orchards throughout the land, All of them planted by old Johnny's hand. He will forever remembered be; I would wish to have all so think of me."
* * * * * *
Bibliography of John Chapman.
Howe's History of Ohio, Vol. II, p. 484.
Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society Publications, Vol. VI, p. 290. Vol. IX, p. 301.
"Philip Seymour" or "Pioneer Life in Richland County" by Rev. James F. McGraw.
"The Quest of John Chapman" by Newell Dwight Hillis.
WHY STUDY BIRDS?
A Cincinnati teacher in one of the big intermediate schools recently discussed with her class the question of studying birds. She reminded them that they are city children living in a densely populated district, and that they could hardly expect to see the live birds unless they went into the country, but agreed to forming a bird-study class if the children could give good reasons for doing so.
One child called attention to the fact that they read and studied about many things all over the world that they never hoped to see, why not about birds also? One boy thought it just as necessary for city children to know what was to be seen in the country, as for country children to know what could be seen in the city. There were other reasons offered equally as good, but behind it all was a real live desire, a natural desire, that need give no reasons for its existence, to learn something about the wild birds. The teacher saw this, and being one who realizes that schools are maintained for the benefit of children rather than that children are born and reared to serve a school system, consented to the organization of a Junior Audubon Class.
Bird study in some measure should be given to every class in every school, city and country. Not just because it is new, not just because it is a branch of the now popular nature-study, not just because the children are eager for it, all of which are good reasons, but because of the great need of a national change of attitude toward the wild birds if we are to succeed in preserving this absolutely essential part of our natural resources.
TROOP OF WINTER BIRDS LED BY CAPTAIN NUT-HATCH.
H. W. WEISGERBER.
From Nature and Culture.
How many of the boys that roam the winter woods appreciate the services of the white-breasted nut-hatch? He is the captain of the small troop of winter resident birds, and where his "yank", "yank", is heard there are the other birds also. Sometimes he is far in advance of the troop, but the small company of followers press on and go where he leads.
In the winter birds are not as common as during the summer, and the bird student sometimes tramps a long ways before he sees one of any kind. Then, all of a sudden he hears the call-note of the nut-hatch, and if he is wise, he will follow it up until he comes upon the company, which will not be far away from where the nut-hatch is heard.
Sometimes only three species are found, but generally four different kinds of birds make up the small company that road the woods together. These four are the white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, downy woodpecker, and the merry little chickadee. What a happy, contented quartet they are!
One cold and cloudy November morning I thought I had caught a pair of nuthatches that had betrayed their trust. I had followed an old rail fence that bordered a weedy cornfield next to an open woods, and the only birds seen were a few juncos and tree sparrows. After walking about thirty rods, a pair of nuthatches were found; the next ten minutes were spent listening and looking for the other birds that should have been about. None were seen or heard. I was about to make a note of the fact; but, it being a cold, windy morning, I deferred this part, and moved on in order to get warm. I paralleled my first walk by keeping in the woods along the fence, waiting for the troop to come. I had not gone many rods until a note was heard, then a titmouse came in sight, and in a few minutes I was surrounded by titmice, downy woodpeckers, chickadees, and a number of golden-crowned kinglets. Altogether there were twenty-five or more of the little fellows, and they moved so fast that I did not get to see them all, so I followed them to the place where I first saw the nuthatches. Here was where white-breasted was christened "Captain Nuthatch."
Home from his journey Farmer John Arrived this morning safe and sound; His black coat off and his old clothes on, "Now I'm myself," said Farmer John, And he thinks, "I'll look around." Up leaps the dog: "Get down, you pup! Are you so glad you would eat me up?" And the old cow lows at the gate to greet him, The horses prick up their ears to meet him. "Well, well, old Bay, Ha, ha, old Gray, Do you get good food when I'm away?"
"You haven't a rib," says Farmer John; "The cattle are looking round and sleek; The colt is going to be a roan, And a beauty, too; how he has grown! We'll ween the calf in a week." Says Farmer John, "When I've been off— To call you again about the trough, And watch you and pat you while you drink, Is a greater comfort than you can think;" And he pats old Bay, And he slaps old Gray, "Ah, this is the comfort of going away!"
"For, after all," says Farmer John, "The best of a journey is getting home; I've seen great sights but I would not give This spot and the peaceful life I live For all their Paris and Rome; These hills for the city's stifled air And big hotels and bustle and glare; Lands all houses, and roads all stone That deafen your ears and batter your bones! Would you, old Bay? Would you, old Gray? That's what one gets by going away."
"There Money is king," says Farmer John, "And Fashion is queen, and it's very queer To see how sometimes when the man Is raking and scraping all he can, The wife spends, every year, Enough you would think for a score of wifes To keep them in luxury all their lives! The town is a perfect Babylon To a quiet chat," said Farmer John. "You see, old Bay, You see, old Gray, I'm wiser than when I went away.
"I've found this out," said Farmer John, "That happiness is not bought and sold, And clutched in a life of waste and hurry, In nights of pleasure and days of worry, And wealth isn't all in gold, Mortgages, stocks and ten per cent, But in simple ways and sweet content, Few wants, pure hopes and noble ends, Some land to till and a few good friends, Like you, old Bay, And you, old Gray, That's what I've learned by going away."
And a happy man is Farmer John— Oh, a rich and happy man is he! He sees the peas and pumpkins growing, The corn in tassel, the buckwheat blowing, And fruit on vine and tree; The large, kind oxen look their thanks As he rubs their foreheads and pats their flanks; The doves light round him and strut and coo; Says Farmer John, "I'll take you, too; And you, old Bay, And you, old Gray, Next time I travel so far away."
W. H. WISMAN, NEW PARIS, OHIO.
In order to carry on the work of bird study with any degree of success, experience has taught me that the subject must continually be kept before the pupils in all of its phases. This means actual work among the birds, with eyes sharpened for every movement and ears tuned to every sound.
The first essential, I think, is for the pupil to know the bird by sight—that is, at close range—and to be able to give a minute description, paying attention to details in markings, especially in cases where distinctive markings determine the species.
Our work in autumn consists in a sharp lookout for the warblers that are returning toward the Southland at the beginning of the school term. This requires careful observation, and pupils are encouraged to be watchful at this time and report any small bird they may be able to find on their way to or from school, or at home. A record is kept, and pupils are urged to compete for the longest list of different species.
Later in the season, when the leaves are well off the trees, we start a nest-hunting contest, the object being to see who can find the greatest number of nests in a specified time. Samples of nests are secured and put up in the school room.
When cold weather comes the question of food supply is considered. Shelters for the birds are constructed, and feeding places are prepared. One method is to place a feeding board outside a south window, and fastening a good-sized branch of a tree outside the window, upon which pieces of suet are fastened. The remains of the children's lunches, together with seeds, kernels of nuts, etc., are placed upon the board, and birds soon learn to come to the banquet prepared for them. The pupils are urged to go home and do likewise.
Monthly bird lists are kept, showing the kinds of birds that may be seen each month, and pupils are required to keep note-books in which anything of interest may be noted.
In the spring the question of housing the birds is considered, and pupils are taught to construct simple bird houses, and all are interested in placing these boxes about their homes.
In connection with this field work, attention is given to the literature upon this subject. Scrap-books are kept, and any article relating to birds found in papers or magazines is clipped and pasted in this book.
We have in the school room over one hundred and fifty pictures in colors of the birds to be found in this section of the State, and using these as a basis, I give frequent "lectures" on the habits or any other points of interest concerning these birds.
The pupils are very enthusiastic in the work, and the influence has not only extended throughout the entire district, but other teachers and pupils in the surrounding districts have caught the spirit and much is being done along this line throughout the township.
—Reprint from Nature and Culture.
THE WHITE BIRCH.
BY CHARLES DEGARMO.
Have you seen the white birch in the spring, in the Spring? When the sunlight gleams upon her branches in the spring? When her green leaves, young and tender, Through their soft concealment render Glimpses of her outlines slender in the spring.
Have you seen her wave her branches in the spring, in the spring? Wave those airy, milk-white branches in the spring? As they glisten in the light Of a day divinely bright When to see them is delight, in the spring.
Have you seen the sunbeams glancing in the spring, in the spring? Glancing on her leaflets glossy in the spring? When the wind sets them in motion, Like the ripples on the ocean, And they stir our fond devotion, in the spring.
If you have not, then you know not, in the spring, in the spring, Half the beauty of the birches in the spring. Past their tops of silver sheen In the distance far are seen Blue-tinged hills in living green, in the spring.
—After Wm. Martin.
BY CHARLES DEGARMO.
There's plentiful blue in the midst of the green; For blue are the joys that chatter and preen; The blue bells all nod and sway with the breeze; Blue-tinged are the hills that border the scene, And blue birds sing low of nests in the trees. In the land of the North When the bird's on the wing, Then the blue in the woods Is a charm of the spring.
On waters of blue where soft breezes blow, With sunshine above and shadow below, My boat sails the bay, with naught to annoy, For two that I love sit close as we go, And laughing blue eyes that mirror with joy. Far away to the South, Where the warm tropics lie, There the blue of the sea Is the blue of the sky.
—From the Author's forthcoming book, "An Aesthetic View of the World."
 The Author's little granddaughters.
SUNRISE NEVER FAILS.
Upon the sadness of the sea The sunset broods regretfully; From the far spaces, slow Withdraws the wistful afterglow.
So out of life the splendor dies, So darken all the happy skies, So gathers twilight cold and stern; But overhead the planets burn.
And up the east another day Shall chase the bitter dark away, What though our eyes with tears be wet? The sunrise never failed us yet.
The blush of dawn may yet restore Our light and hope and joys once more. Sad soul, take comfort, nor forget That sunrise never failed us yet.
I wonder if you have ever heard Of the queer, little, dismal Whiney-bird, As black as a crow, as glum as an owl— A most peculiar kind of a fowl? He is oftenest seen on rainy days, When children are barred from outdoor plays; When the weather is bright and the warm sun shines, Then he flies far away to the gloomy pines, Dreary-looking, indeed, is his old black cloak, And his whiney cry makes the whole house blue— "There's nothing to do-oo! there's nothing to do-oo!" Did you ever meet this doleful bird? He's found where the children are, I've heard, Now, who can he be? It can't be you. But who is the Whiney-bird? Who-oo? Who-oo?
—Jean Halifax in St. Nicholas.
BY MABEL OSGOOD WRIGHT.
The National Association of Audubon Societies Educational Leaflet No. 24.
Who dares write of the Bluebird, thinking to add a fresher tint to his plumage, a new tone to his melodious voice, or a word of praise to his gentle life, that is as much a part of our human heritage and blended with our memories as any other attribute of home?
Not I, surely, for I know him too well and each year feel myself more spellbound and mute by the memories he awakens. Yet I would repeat his brief biography, lest there be any who, being absorbed by living inward, have not yet looked outward and upward to this poet of the sky and earth and the fullness and goodness thereof.
[Sidenote: The Bluebird's Country.]
For the Bluebird was the first of all poets,—even before man had blazed a trail in the wilderness or set up the sign of his habitation and tamed his thoughts to wear harness and travel to measure. And so he came to inherit the earth before man, and this, our country, is all The Bluebird's County, for at some time of the year he roves about it from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Mexico to Nova Scotia, though westward, after he passes the range of the Rocky Mountains, he wears a different dress and bears other longer names.
[Sidenote: The Bluebird's Travels.]
In spite of the fact that our eastern Bluebird is a home-body, loving his nesting haunt and returning to it year after year, he is an adventurous traveler. Ranging all over the eastern United States at some time in the season, this bird has its nesting haunts at the very edge of the Gulf States and upward, as far north as Manitoba and Nova Scotia.
When the breeding season is over, the birds travel sometimes in family groups and sometimes in large flocks, moving southward little by little, according to season and food-supply, some journeying as far as Mexico, others lingering through the middle and southern states. The Bluebirds that live in our orchards in summer are very unlikely to be those that we see in the same place in winter days. Next to the breeding impulse, the migrating instinct seems to be the strongest factor of bird life. When the life of the home is over, Nature whispers, "To wing, up and on!" So a few of the Bluebirds who have nested in Massachusetts may be those who linger in New Jersey, while those whose breeding haunts were in Nova Scotia, drift downward to fill their places in Massachusetts. But the great mass of even those birds we call winter residents go to the more southern parts of their range every winter, those who do not being but a handful in comparison.
"What does this great downward journey of autumn mean?" you ask. What is the necessity for migration among a class of birds that are able to find food in fully half of the annual range? Why do birds seek extremes for nesting sites? This is a question about which the wise men have many theories, but they are still groping. One theory is that once the whole country had a more even climate and that many species of birds lived all the year in places that are now unsuitable for a permanent residence. Therefore, the home instinct being so strong, though they were driven from their nesting sites by scarcity of food and stress of weather, their instinct led them back as soon as the return of spring made it possible.
Thus the hereditary love of the place where they were given life may underlie the great subject of migration in general and that of the Bluebird's home in particular.
[Sidenote: The Bluebird at Home.]
Before more than the first notes of spring song have sounded in the distance, Bluebirds are to be seen by twos and threes about the edge of old orchards along open roads, where the skirting trees have crumbled or decaying knot-holes have left tempting nooks for the tree-trunk birds, with whom the Bluebird may be classed. For, though he takes kindly to a bird-box, or a convenient hole in a fencepost, telegraph pole or outbuilding, a tree hole must have been his first home and consequently he has a strong feeling in its favor.
As with many other species of migrant birds, the male is the first to arrive; and he does not seem to be particularly interested in house-hunting until the arrival of the female, when the courtship begins without delay, and the delicate purling song with the refrain, "Dear, dear, think of it, think of it," and the low, two-syllabled answer of the female is heard in every orchard. The building of the nest is not an important function,—merely gathering of a few wisps and straws, with some chance feathers for lining. It seems to be shared by both parents, as are the duties of hatching and feeding the young. The eggs vary in number, six being the maximum, and they are not especially attractive, being of so pale a blue that it is better to call them a bluish white. Two broods are usually raised each year, though three are said to be not uncommon; for Bluebirds are active during a long season, and, while the first nest is made before the middle of April, last year a brood left the box over my rose arbor September 12, though I do not know whether this was a belated or a prolonged family arrangement.
As parents the Bluebirds are tireless, both in supplying the nest with insect food and attending to its sanitation; the wastage being taken away and dropped at a distance from the nest at almost unbelievable short intervals, proving the wonderful rapidity of digestion and the immense amount of labor required to supply the mill inside the little speckled throats with grist.
The young Bluebirds are spotted thickly on throat and back, after the manner of the throat of their cousin, the Robin, or, rather, the back feathers are spotted, the breast feathers having dusky edges, giving a speckled effect.
The study of the graduations of plumage of almost any brightly colored male bird from its first clothing until the perfectly matured feather of its breeding season, is in itself, a science and a subject about which there are many theories and differences of opinion by equally distinguished men.
[Sidenote: The Food of the Bluebird.]
The food of the nestling Bluebird is insectivorous, or, rather to be more exact, I should say animal; but the adult birds vary their diet at all seasons by eating berries and small fruits. In autumn and early winter, cedar and honeysuckle berries, the grape-like cluster of fruit of the poison ivy, bittersweet and catbrier berries are all consumed according to their needs.
Professor Beal, of the Department of Agriculture, writes, after a prolonged study, that 76 per cent. of the Bluebird's food "consists of insects and their allies, while the other 24 per cent. is made up of various vegetable substances, found mostly in stomachs taken in winter. Beetles constitute 28 per cent. of the whole food, grasshoppers 22, caterpillars 11, and various insects, including quite a number of spiders, comprise the remainder of the insect diet. All these are more or less harmful, except a few predaceous beetles, which amount to 8 per cent., but in view of the large consumption of grasshoppers and caterpillars, we can at least condone this offense, if such it may be called. The destruction of grasshoppers is very noticeable in the months of August and September, when these insects form more than 60 per cent. of the diet."
It is not easy to tempt Bluebirds to an artificial feeding-place, such as I keep supplied with food for Juncos, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Jays, etc.; though in winter they will eat dried currants and make their own selection from mill sweepings if scattered about the trees of their haunts. For, above all things, the Bluebird, though friendly and seeking the borderland between the wild and the tame, never becomes familiar, and never does he lose the half-remote individuality that is one of his great charms. Though he lives with us and gives no sign of pride of birth or race, he is not of us, as the Song Sparrow, Chippy or even the easily alarmed Robin. The poet's mantle envelopes him even as the apple blossoms throw a rosy mist about his doorway, and it is best so.
1. EASTERN BLUEBIRD (SIALIA SIALIS).
Adult male.—Length 7 inches. Upper parts, wings and tail bright blue; breast and sides rusty, reddish brown, belly white. Adult female.—Similar to the male, but upper parts except the upper tail coverts, duller, gray or brownish blue, the breast and sides paler. Nestling.—Wings and tail essentially like those of adult, upper parts dark sooty brown, the back spotted with whitish; below, whitish, but the feathers of the breast and sides widely margined with brown, producing a spotted appearance. This plumage is soon followed by the fall or winter plumage, in which the blue feathers of the back are fringed with rusty, and young and old birds are then alike in color.
Range.—Eastern United States west to the Rocky Mountains; nests from the Gulf States to Manitoba and Nova Scotia; winters from southern New England southward.
1a. AZURE BLUEBIRD (SIALIA SIALIS AZUREA).
Similar to the Eastern Bluebird, but breast paler, upper parts lighter, more cerulean blue.
Range.—Mountains of eastern Mexico north to southern Arizona.
2. WESTERN BLUEBIRD (SIALIA MEXICANA OCCIDENTALIS).
Adult male.—Above deep blue, the foreback in part chestnut; throat blue, breast and sides chestnut, the belly bluish grayish.
Adult Female.—Above grayish blue, chestnut of back faintly indicated, throat grayish blue, breast rusty, paler than in male, belly grayish.
Range.—Pacific coast region from northern Lower California north to British Columbia, east to Nevada.
2a. CHESTNUT-BACKED BLUEBIRD (SIALIA MEXICANA ANABELAE).
Similar to the Western Bluebird, but foreback wholly chestnut.
Range.—Rocky Mountain region from Mexico north to Wyoming.
2b. SAN PEDRO BLUEBIRD (SIALIA MEXICANA ANABELAE).
Similar to the Western Bluebird, but back with less chestnut.
Range.—San Pedro Martir mountains, Lower California.
3. MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (SIALIA ARCTICA).
Adult male.—Almost wholly blue, above beautiful cerulean, below paler, belly whitish. Adult female.—Above brownish gray, upper tail coverts, wings and tail bluish below pale fawn, belly whitish.
Range.—Western United States from Rocky Mountains to Sierras, and from New Mexico north to the Great Slave Lake region.
Drink to me only with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kiss in the cup And I'll not look for wine. The thirst that from the soul doth rise Doth ask a drink divine; But might I of Jove's nectar sup, I would not change for thine.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath, Not so much honoring thee As giving it a hope that there It could not withered be; But thou thereon didst only breathe And sen'st it back to me; Since when it grows, and smells, I swear, Not of itself but thee!
DON'T FORGET THE TREE.
(A POEM FOR ARBOR DAY.)
How beauteous is the lordly tree That scatters cooling shade! The landscape, O how fair and free By loving Nature made; The birds that build in leafy bough Hail each returning spring, And in the emerald forests now They make the Welkin ring.
The tree we plant in years becomes A monarch old and gray, And thousands from unbuilded homes Will bless our Arbor Day; We plant not for the present time, But for the days in store. And those who come from distant clime Will bless us o'er and o'er.
Hail Arbor Day! With busy hands With cheerful hearts and free We come in Nature; loving hands To plant the bush or tree; Unto the wide extending plain, Or to the sun scorched way We bring the cooling shade again With joy this Arbor Day.
DON'T FORGET THE TREE.
Where halts the pilgrim for an hour Let some tree rear its head, Our work can greet him with a flower, Or luscious fruit instead; Plant for the dawning years a tree, 'Twill not be labor lost; You'll live to bless the day and see How little was the cost.
Plant trees upon the barren hill And in the village street, And shade the little sunny rill Whose song is rich and sweet; Where there's a will there is a way. So let the children come And plant a tree this Arbor Day— A tree that stands for Home.
Methinks the rose will fairer bloom Upon the bush we set, And softer be its perfume Above its coronet; Let every child in Freedom's land Hail Arbor Day with glee, And plant with every busy hand A shrub, a bush or tree.
God made the many trees for shade, So plant one on this day, In field, in town, in glen and glade They yield a gentle sway; In troops let all the children come With music, song and cheer; For Arbor Day is near to Home, And Home is always dear.
Go plant a tree where none is found, Make bright some treeless spot, And as the ceaseless years go round You will not be forgot; From hill to hill, from shore to shore, Let hands forget their play, And men will bless forevermore Our sacred Arbor Day.
—T. C. Harbaugh.
Ere the latest snow of Springtime Leaves the shelter of the woodlands; While it still in every hollow Waits with a wavering indecision, Loath to vanish at the mandate Of the swiftly conquering sunshine— Then the Spirit of the Springtime Comes with gentle exorcism.
'Tis the arbutus, frail beauty, Pale with fright, yet blushing rosy At the simple joy of living, And before her modest presence Harsh winds calm their fiercest bluster, And the last resisting armies Of the Snow-king quickly vanish. Then she sends her sweetest fragrance Upward, like a breath of incense, To the sun, who cheers and thanks her With his warmest, grateful kisses.
—Mary Nowlan Wittwer, Adelphi, Ohio.
THE LOGAN ELM.
The Logan Elm, about six miles from Circleville, with five acres of park surrounding it, is now the property of the Ohio Historical and Archaeological Society, having been transferred to that organization by the Pickaway Historical Association on October 2, 1912. It is altogether proper that this historic tree and ground should become the property of Ohio so that every person in our commonwealth may feel a proprietary interest in this spot and all that it means.
We have traveled far on the pathway of civilization since the day when the Chief of the Mingoes made this spot memorable by his native eloquence, but we do well to look back, now and again, to these landmarks so as to catch a view of the road over which we have come. Such a view gives us courage and spirit for the journey that lies before us for we are made to feel that since we have done this much we shall be able to do even more and better.
In his historical collections Howe says of the speech of Logan: "It was repeated throughout the North American Colonies as a lesson of eloquence in the schools, and copied upon the pages of literary journals in Great Britain and the Continent. This brief effusion of mingled pride, courage and sorrow, elevated the character of the native American throughout the intelligent world; and the place where it was delivered can never be forgotten so long as touching eloquence is admired by men."
This being true, it is quite fitting that the schools shall place this speech in the category of eloquence and give the children to know that real eloquence is the expression of deep and sincere emotion. The Logan Elm remains to us the visible symbol of an example of this sort of eloquence and our celebration of Arbor Day will be all the more inspiring if all the children come to know the meaning of this tree and feel the real eloquence of the speech.
The version of the speech here given is found in Jefferson's Notes and is as follows:
"I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry and I gave him not meats; if ever he came cold or naked and I gave him not clothing. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained in his tent an advocate for peace. Nay, such was my love for the whites, that those of my own country pointed at me as they passed by and said, 'Logan is the friend of white men.' I had even thought to live with you, but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, cut off all the relatives of Logan; not sparing even any women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any human creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. Yet, do not harbor the thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one."
—F. B. Pearson.
LITTLE DOG TRAY.
When at the close of a wearisome day Homeward disheartened, you moodily stray, What would you take for your little dog Tray? Take for the wag of his tail?
Sitting alone at the old picket gate, Little dog Tray will patiently wait Watching: No matter if early or late Slow is the wag of his tail.
Look! see him start as a form comes in view! What has the dog with that vision to do? How does he tell that he knows it is you? Just by the wag of his tail.
Oh, the wild glee in his rhythmical song Sung in the motion that keeps him along! Is it a love that he bears for the throng? Judge by the wag of his tail.
Swift as the wind he has run to your side, Eager and happy to show you his pride; Bounding aloft, then ahead as your guide Merrily wagging his tail.
No one may know why he loves you so well Nor if your voice or your face weave the spell But that he loves you his actions will tell, Such as the wag of his tail.
Loves you and shares in your hunger and thirst Riches and poverty, landed or cursed, Always the same, for the best or the worst Proved by the wag of his tail.
Love such as his will abide to the end, Do what you will, distort your ways you may wend, Hardships and knocks but insure him your friend Shown by the wag of his tail.
Curse him—he lies at your feet to adore! Strike him—he loves you the same as before! Violent blows—snap your finger! Once more There is the wag of his tail.
Watchful he sits at your side in repose Loyal before you he stealthily goes Eager to champion your cause with your foes Told by the wag of his tail.
Friendship may fade and earth's love may grow cold Chains such as these oft are flimsiest mold, Love of the dog for his master will hold Long as the wag of his tail.
Not as a peer, neither cringing like slave One solemn boon, as the last he may crave, Little dog Tray sits and moans on your grave Sad is the way of his tail.
When at the close of a wearisome day Homeward, disheartened, you moodily stray, What would you take for your little dog Tray? Take for the wag of his tail?
—By Walter P. Neff.
A KIPLING TRIBUTE.
"Buy a pup and your money will buy Love unflinching that cannot lie Perfect passion and worship fed, By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head, Nevertheless it is hardly fair To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
When the fourteen years which nature permits Are closing in asthma, or tumor, or fits, And the "Vet's" unspoken presentation runs To lethal chambers or loaded guns, Then you will find, its your own affair That — — — you've given your heart for a dog to tear."
—By Lee A. Dollinger.
"MAN'S BEST FRIEND."
Senator Vest had been retained as the Attorney of a man whose dog had been wantonly shot by a neighbor. The plaintiff demanded $200.00.
When Vest finished speaking the jury awarded $500.00 without leaving their seats. This is what he said:
"Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most.
"A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
"A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He will guard the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains.
"When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces he is as constant in his love, as the sun on its journey through the heavens. If misfortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in his embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his grave side will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death."
"There is but one drawback to a dog's friendship, It does not last long enough."
CORDELIA J. STANWOOD, ELLSWORTH, ME.
Reprints from Nature and Culture.
The redstart is one of the most beautiful of the warblers. It flutters through the branches like the sunbeams through the dancing leaves; again, it suggests a darting flame or a gorgeous autumn-leaf tossed hither and thither by the wind.
The redstart winters in the tropics—Mexico, South America, and the West Indies—but nests in almost every part of North America east of the Rockies. The female models an exquisite statant, increment nest, well set down in the crotch of a tree, but the kind of a tree selected and the materials used vary in different localities.
The most beautiful nest I ever found was located sixteen feet from the ground, in the crotch of a white birch. The support was formed by the main trunk and several ascending, rudimentary branches. When I looked up into the tree a tiny, fluffy mass of white birch curls attracted my attention. On this cushion the nest was shaped of similar curls of white birch bark and partially decomposed inner bark, fiber; the rim, firm and well modeled, consisted of what looked like split culms of hay, but I decided that it must be the outside of decayed goldenrod stems. It was lined with horse hair, human hair, and the feathers of the female. A daintier, warmer, safer, little cradle no bird could desire.
Another nest, located in a maple five feet high from the ground, was placed on a foundation of dead leaves, coarse meadow grass, and white birch bark. The cup was constructed of fine cedar bark fiber; the outside was ornamented with the white egg cases of some insect. The nest had a beautifully turned brim of the same material as was used in the former nest. The lining, likewise, was of goldenrod fiber, and a few of the green and yellow feathers of the female. As usual, more or less spider's floss entered into the composition of this well-made structure. The dwelling strikingly corresponded in color with the gray maple crotch that supported it. Each house was well adapted to its surroundings.
The female builds the nest almost unassisted and appears, likewise to incubate and brood the young. The male, however, sings from his varied repertoire to cheer his mate at her task, and assists the female in feeding the young and cleansing the domicile, but when disturbed by an observer, the female is more assiduous than the male in her attentions to their offspring.
Usually when a person attempts to inspect a redstart's nest containing young, the female drops from the nest a dead weight and falls from branch to branch of any tree in the way, striking the ground with a dull thud. Her next move is to trail a helpless wing along the ground. At another time she flies from the nest and alights on the ground with spread wings and tail. The yellow markings on the wing and tail show conspicuously as the bird moves forward by the wings, as if her legs were too weak to sustain her weight. At the same time the bird twitters very softly, almost inaudibly; in other words, she feigns the helplessness of a young bird. These pretty deceptions, the expression of the mother instinct, always appeal to me very strongly.
While studying a family of redstarts that lived in a gray birch some twelve feet above the ground, the hen and one nestling disappeared. Across the hayfield from the grove of the birds that I was observing was a bit of woodland to which both redstarts resorted frequently, presumably for feed. Here was the nest of a redstart containing four fresh eggs. That day I arranged with a care to lower the nest a number of feet. The birds deserted. On examining the nest I found that one egg has been cracked. Whether this nest belonged to the redstarts of the grove and the female left her young in the care of the cock while she constructed a third nest, I cannot say. Exactly what became of the mother remained a mystery.
It was with grave concern that I watched the gayly dressed little songster for an entire day to see if he would take upon himself the duties of the mother-bird. Nothing could have been more touching than to note the faithfulness with which he performed all the work of two birds save brooding the young. The following morning the nest was empty, but I found the father-bird in a coppice feeding the little family. Evidently he had undertaken the entire care of his small flock.
One nest of redstarts that I studied from the egg stage was on the wing on the tenth day. As the nest was but five feet from the ground, within reach, and as I called there nearly every day, it is not surprising that the old bird tolled the young from the nest as soon as they were able to fly. At this age redstart nestlings preen vigorously and fly short distances.
The nest of the redstarts, when vacated, was immaculate, save for the quill and pin feather cases that filled the interstices.
The bird seems to raise a second brood, at least some years, as nearly all the dates at which I have discovered the bird nesting are later than those I find recorded. Redstarts were completing a nest June 13, 1908; a male and female were feeding four young five or six days old July 13, 1907; a bird was ready to incubate four fresh eggs the same day, and still another redstart was incubating four eggs July 5, 1910; these were not hatched until nine days later.
If the birds feed two broods during the summer, then they are nearly twice as useful as they have been generally supposed to be. The redstart is the most active of the active warblers, and the number of gnats, flies, caterpillars, moths, other insects and their eggs that these birds consume or feed to their nestlings in one day is incredible. While it does splendid work in the woods it frequently comes to the orchard and is not unknown to paly its quest for food in the village streets. While we admire the redstart for its beauty and its charming little songs, we respect the bird for his utility. In this case the proverbial "fine feathers" do cover fine little bird.
THE OLD TREE.
The old beech tree, so green and gray! How oft I've heard thee, whispering say, With beckoning branches waving low, "Rest here, where cooling breezes blow!" And in thy shadows deep and dark, How oft I've touched thy cool gray bark; And still I bless thee, old beech tree, For old sweet memories dear to me. Repeat the stories yet half told Of those who carved their names so bold! In whispers tell of them today, O venerable beech, so green and gray!
The old beech tree, so green and gray, The old-time welcome gives today, With beckoning branches reaching down To mother earth all garbed in brown. Thy gnarled, bark-covered roots up-bend A further welcome to extend. Thy low-extending branches wave, As though a green-robed prelate gave A benediction, and had blessed A people weary and oppressed. And so I rest with thee today, My old beech tree, so green and gray!
—Richard Nevin Pemberton.
THE HORSE'S PRAYER TO HIS MASTER.
To Thee, My master, I offer my prayer: Feed me, water and care for me, and when the day's work is done, provide me with shelter, a clean dry bed, and a stall wide enough for me to lie down in comfort.
Always be kind to me. Talk to me. Your voice often means as much to me as the reins. Pet me sometimes, that I may serve you the more gladly and learn to love you. Do not jerk the reins, and do not whip me when going up hill. Never strike, beat or kick me when I do not understand what you want, but give me a chance to understand you. Watch me, and if I fail to do your bidding, see if something is not wrong with my harness or feet.
Do not check me so that I cannot have the free use of my head. If you insist that I wear blinders so that I cannot see behind me, as it was intended I should, I pray you to be careful that the blinders stand well out from my eyes.
Do not overload me, or hitch me where water will drip on me. Keep me well shod. Examine my teeth when I do not eat. I may have an ulcerated tooth, and that, you know, is very painful. Do not fix my head in an unnatural position, or take away my best defense against flies and mosquitoes by cutting off my tail.
I cannot tell you when I am thirsty, so give me clean cool water often. I cannot tell you in words when I am sick, so watch me, and by signs you may know my condition. Give me all possible shelter from the hot sun, and put a blanket on me not when I am working but when I am standing in the cold. Never put a frosty bit in my mouth. First warm it by holding it a moment in your hands.
And finally, O My Master, when my useful strength is gone, do not turn me out to starve or freeze, or sell me to some human brute, to be slowly tortured and starved to death; but do Thou, My Master, take my life in the kindest way, and your God will reward you Here and Hereafter. You will not consider me irreverent if I ask this in the name of Him who was born in a stable. Amen.
"ONE, TWO, THREE!"
1. It was an old, old, old, old lady, And a boy that was half past three; And the way that they played together Was beautiful to see.
2. She couldn't go running and jumping, And the boy, no more could he; For he was a thin little fellow, With a thin little twisted knee.
3. They sat in the yellow twilight, Out under the maple tree; And the game that they played I'll tell you, Just as it was told to me.
4. It was Hide and Go Seek they were playing, Though you'd never have known it to be— With an old, old, old, old lady, And a boy with a twisted knee.
5. The boy would bend his face down On his one little sound right knee, And he guessed where she was hiding, In guesses One, Two, Three!
6. "You are in the china closet!" He would cry, and laugh with glee— It wasn't the china closet; But he still had Two and Three.
7. "You are up in Papa's big bedroom, In the chest with the queer old key!" And she said: "You are warm and warmer; But you're not quite right," said she.
8. "It can't be the little cupboard Where Mamma's things used to be So it must be the clothespress, Gran'ma!" And he found her with his Three.
9. Then she covered her face with her fingers, That were wrinkled and white and wee, And she guessed where the boy was hiding, With a One and a Two and a Three.
10. And they never had stirred from their places, Right under the maple tree— This old, old, old, old lady, And the boy with the lame little knee— This dear, dear, dear old lady, And the boy who was half past three.
—From Poems of H. C. Bunner; copyrighted 1884, 1892, 1899 by Chas. Scribner's Sons.
BIRD-STUDY IN OHIO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
DR. EUGENE SWOPE.
Audubon Field Agent for Ohio, 4 W. Seventh St., Cincinnati, O.
The national movement for the study and protection of our wild birds is as well understood and supported by the teachers of Ohio as of any other State. The number of Junior Audubon Classes formed in the schools of Ohio last year was second only to New Jersey. That little State took the lead. Ohio ought to take the lead this year. With our Commissioner F. W. Miller giving his approval and encouragement, and our Supervisors of Agriculture recommending bird study as a necessary feature of elementary agriculture, Ohio ought to be able to report a large number of Bird Classes by the middle of May.
It is a rare thing to find a Superintendent or principal actually unfriendly toward bird study, but a very large percent hesitate to admit it into their schools because it is new and untried.
The claims of bird study upon Superintendents and principals is one that cannot much longer be overlooked. The National desire to know the wild birds and to save the remnant now left, is yearly becoming stronger. An ever-increasing number of homes are becoming active centers and parents are looking to the public schools for help, and children everywhere are eager for bird study.
There is no risk in introducing Junior Audubon Classes in a school. Some of our country's foremost educators have tried it with gratifying results, for they find that there is no better subject to develope the power of attention in children, there is no better subject to train children's memories, there is no better subject to awake originality of thought in young minds, and it is unquestionably the supreme subject for composition work. Any teacher who cares to give bird study a trial may correspond with me and receive gratis, the help now offered by the Ohio Audubon Society.
THE BOY WITH THE HOE.
"Say, how do you hoe your row, young chap? Say, how do you hoe your row? Do you hoe it fair? Do you hoe it square? Do you hoe it the best you know? Do you cut the weeds as you ought to do? And leave what's worth while there? The harvest you garner depends on you, Are you working it on the square?
"Are you killing the noxious weeds, young chap? Are you making it straight and clean? Are you going straight, At a hustling gait, Do you scatter all that's mean? Do you laugh and sing and whistle shrill, And dance a step or two? The road you hoe leads up a hill; The harvest is up to you."
THE BEECH TREE'S PETITION.
O leave this barren spot to me! Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree! Though bush or floweret never grow My dark unwarming shade below; Nor summer bud perfume the dew Of rosy blush, or yellow hue; Nor fruits of Autumn, blossom born, My green and glossy leaves adorn; Nor murmuring tribes from me derive The ambrosial amber of the hive; Yet leave this barren spot to me; Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree! Trice twenty summers have I seen The sky grow bright, the forest green; And many a wintry wind have stood In bloomless, fruitless solitude, Since childhood in my pleasant bower First spent its sweet and pensive hour; Since youthful lovers in my shade Their vows of truth and rapture made, And on my trunk's surviving frame Carved many a long-forgotten name. Oh! by the sighs of gentle sound, First breather upon this sacred ground; By all that Love has whispered here, Or Beauty heard with ravished ear; As Love's own altar honor me; Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree.
BY WILLIAM DUTCHER,
President of National Association of Audubon Societies. Educational Leaflet No. 18.
The Cardinal is one of the most brilliant of American birds; the name is derived from its color, which is a deep red, somewhat less vivid than scarlet. This color is supposed to be named from the vestments of a cardinal, an ecclesiastic of high rank in the Roman Church. The female bird, while not so conspicuous as her mate, is clad in a rich brown with just enough of red to light it up. They are indeed a striking pair, and wherever they are found soon become favorites. They are known as Cardinal Grosbeaks, Red-birds, Crested Red-birds, Virginia Nightingales, and lately James Lane Allen has made familiar Kentucky Cardinal. The illustration shows the Cardinal's most prominent features—a very large strong bill, a conspicuous crest, which can be erected or depressed at will, short rounded wings and a long tail. The length of the Cardinal is a little over eight inches from tip of bill to end of tail.
Once seen, the Cardinal can never be mistaken for any other bird, especially as its plumage virtually never changes but remains much the same at all seasons of the year. Cardinals are resident wherever they are found, and their center of abundance is in the southern portion of the United States. The northern limit of its range is approximately a line drawn from a point in the vicinity of New York City, westward to southeastern Nebraska; thence southward to Texas, where it is found in the greater part of the state. These lines are arbitrary, but are given in order that a teacher may show scholars in a general way where Cardinals can be found. Further, they give teachers and pupils who reside outside these limits an opportunity to extend the Cardinal's known range by proving that it lives in their locality.
There have been records of the Cardinal made as far north as Nova Scotia and Southern Ontario, but it is believed that these were escaped cage birds, the Cardinal, probably owing to its beauty of plumage and richness of song, having long been a favorite cage bird. Alexander Wilson, in American Ornithology (Vol. II, page 145), which was published in 1828, says, "This is one of our most common cage birds, and is very generally known, not only in North America, but even in Europe; numbers of them having been carried over both to France and England, in which last country they are usually called Virginia Nightingales."
Dr. Russ, the great German aviculturist, says, "Beloved in its home by both Americans and Germans, it is protected and caught only for the cage bird fancy. Had been bred in Holland a century and a half ago and later in England." It is true that until recently large numbers of Cardinals were caught or taken from the nest while young, for shipment to foreign countries by bird dealers. Owing to the efforts of the National Association, this traffic is a thing of the past. The Model Law, which is in force in all the States where the Cardinal is found, prohibits all traffic in these birds and forbids their being shipped from the State.
The Cardinal is too beautiful and valuable a bird to be confined within the narrow limits of a cage, where its splendid spirit is soon broken by its unavailing attempts to escape. Mrs. Olive Thorne Miller, in one of her charming pictures of bird life, says of a captive Cardinal, that, "He is a cynic, morose and crusty." Such a character cannot be attributed to the Cardinal when it is at liberty. Its wild, free song, its restless activity and its boldness are the antithesis of a depressed cage captive. Even when it receives the best care from its human jailer it is still a prisoner confined in a space so small that it never has an opportunity to stretch its wings in flight, nor can it ever bathe in the bright sunshine or view the blue skies above it. The whispering of the winds through the sylvan shades is lost to the captive forever. Is it strange that the nature of this wild free spirit changes?
The writer has seen many hundreds of these beautiful birds in cages ready to be shipped, each one doomed to a short existence, a prisoner and an exile. Fortunately, this condition is now changed; and, had the National Association accomplished no other good, the stopping of the cage-bird traffic would be a sufficient reason for its organization.
In the South, where the Cardinal is one of the most abundant birds, it is a special favorite, rivaling the Mockingbird in the affections of the people. It is commonly found in the towns as well as the rural districts. The female bird builds the nest, which is loosely constructed of leaves, bark, twigs, shreds of grape-vine, and is lined with dry grasses. The nest is placed in bushes or vines from eight to ten feet from the ground. Three or four white eggs, speckled with brown, are laid, and it is probable that in the South two broods are raised each season. The home life of Cardinals is a pattern of domestic felicity, so true are the sexes to each other. Even in winter they seem to be paired, for a male and a female are always seen together. However, during the season of incubation the tender solicitude of the male for his mate is best shown. In fact, his extreme anxiety that the home and its inmates should not be discovered excites him so much that he actually leads the visitor to the nest in the attempt to mislead.
The song of the male Cardinal is loud and clear, with a melodious ring, "What cheer! What cheer! What cheer!" winding up with a peculiar long-drawn out e-e-e. Contrary to the usual custom in bird families, the female Cardinal is an excellent singer, although her notes are in an entirely different key from those of her gifted mate, being lower and to some ears more sweet and musical.
Audubon's "American Ornithological Biography" is so rare at the present day, being found only in the largest libraries, and is consequently so inaccessible to the ordinary reader, that his description of the song of the Cardinal is quoted in full.
"Its song is at first loud and clear, resembling the finest sounds produced by the flageolet, and gradually descends into more marked and continued cadences, until it dies away in the air around. During the love season the song is emitted with increased emphasis by this proud musician, who, as if aware of his powers, swells his throat, spreads his rosy tail, droops his wings, and leans alternately to the right and left, as if on the eve of expiring with delight at the delicious sounds of his own voice. Again and again are those melodies repeated, the bird resting only at intervals to breathe. They may be heard from long before the sun gilds the eastern horizon, to the period when the blazing orb pours down its noonday floods of heat and light, driving the birds to the coverts to seek repose for a while. Nature again invigorated, the musician recommences his song, when, as if he had never strained his throat before, he makes the whole neighborhood resound, nor ceases until the shades of evening close around him. Day after day the song of the Red-bird beguiles the weariness of his mate as she assiduously warmed her eggs; and at times she also assists with the modesty of her gentler sex. Few individuals of our own race refuse their homage and admiration to the sweet songster. How pleasing is it, when, by a clouded sky, the woods are rendered so dark that, were it not for an occasional glimpse of clearer light falling between the trees, you might imagine night at hand, while you are yet far distant from your home, how pleasing to have your ear suddenly saluted by the well-known notes of this favorite bird, assuring you of peace around, and of the full hour that still remains for you to pursue your walk in security! How often have I enjoyed this pleasure and how often, in due humbleness of hope, do I trust that I may enjoy it again."
In addition to its great esthetic value of song and plumage, the Cardinal has another important character which should endear it to the husbandman. Its food is various, consisting of wild fruits such as grapes, berries, mulberries, cedar berries, seeds of grasses and of many species of weeds, also large numbers of adult beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, flies, ants and their larvae; it is especially fond of rose-bugs. The Cardinal is from every point of view a bird of great interest and value, and any person who makes its intimate acquaintance will form a life-long friendship.