An Outline of the Smaller British Birds

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Longman, 1833 - 168 pages

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Page 42 - This guest of summer, The temple-haunting martlet, does approve By his loved mansionry that the heaven's breath Smells wooingly here : no jutty, frieze, Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle : Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed The air is delicate.
Page 100 - To hear the lark begin his flight And singing startle the dull night From his watch-tower in the skies, Till the dappled dawn doth rise...
Page 134 - The live-long night : nor these alone, whose notes, Nice-fingered art must emulate in vain, But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime In still repeated circles, screaming loud, The jay, the pie, and e'en the boding owl, That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.
Page 53 - He is the joyous prophet of the year — the harbinger of the best season: he lives a life of enjoyment amongst the loveliest forms of nature : winter is unknown to him; and he leaves the green meadows of England in autumn, for the myrtle and orange groves of Italy, and for the palms of Africa: — he has always objects of pursuit, and his success is secure.
Page 28 - ... distance ; and when close at your ear, is scarce any louder than when a great way off. Had I not been a little acquainted with insects, and known that the grasshopper kind is not yet hatched, I should have hardly believed but that it had been a locusta whispering in the bushes. The country people laugh when you tell them that it is the note of a bird.
Page 63 - The notes of this solitary bird, from the ideas which are naturally associated with them, seem like the voice of an old friend, and are listened to by almost all with great interest. At first they issue from some retired part of the woods, the glen, or mountain ; in a few evenings, perhaps, we hear them from the adjoining coppice, the garden fence, the road before the door, and even from the roof of the dwelling-house, long after the family have retired to rest.
Page 39 - Hawks and crows, the bald eagle, and the great black eagle, all equally dread a rencounter with this dauntless little champion, who, as soon as he perceives one of these last approaching, launches into the air to meet him, mounts to a considerable height above him, and darts down on his back, sometimes fixing there, to the great annoyance of his sovereign, who, if no convenient retreat or resting-place be near, endeavours by various evolutions to rid himself of his merciless adversary.
Page 43 - The swallow lays from four to six white eggs, dotted with red specks; and brings out her first brood about the last week in June, or the first week in July. The progressive method by which the young are introduced into life is very amusing: first they emerge from the shaft with difficulty enough, and often fall down into the rooms below ; for a day or so they are fed on the...
Page 38 - The fly-catcher is of all our summer birds the most mute and the most familiar ; it also appears the last of any. It builds in a vine, or a sweetbriar, against the wall of a house, or in the hole of a wall, or on the end of a beam or plate, and often close to the post of a door where people are going in and out all day long.
Page 64 - When the moon shines bright, you may have a fair opportunity of examining the goatsucker. You will see it close by the cows, goats, and sheep, jumping up every now and then, under their bellies. Approach a little nearer, — he is not shy, "' he fears no danger, for he knows no sin...

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