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Black and White, or
SMALLER BRITISH BIRDS,
persons, either from want of the habit of observation, or from not having their attention early directed to the familiar objects around them, lose a variety of innocent pleasures which they might otherwise enjoy.* The truth of this commonplace remark is exemplified in the ignorance frequently exhibited, by persons residing in the country, of the birds who live, and move, and have their being round them. The feathered travellers come and go unnoticed : the southern climates send their visiters to us in the spring; the northern countries despatch their light-winged nations in the autumn. They
• The introduction to the amusing volume “ On the Architecture of Birds."
people our groves, our fields, and the margins of our rivers and lakes; and yet by many they are totally unobserved.
To the female sex who dwell in the country, so much at home, and whose walks are often confined to the shrubberies and pleasure-grounds near their dwellings, these beautiful and delicate beings offer a constant source of amusement and interest. Some persons imagine that this is a difficult subject, requiring scientific knowledge and hard names. We can assure them they are mistaken; and propose to make a few observations on some of our birds, found almost every where, hoping to excite the attention of those attached to rural pursuits. We will first speak of the smaller feathered race, that flit from hedge to hedge, and make our woods and lawns echo with their melody. Most persons are acquainted with three birds, a sparrow, a robin, and a blackbird; some, besides, know a skylark *: as to the rest, they are often confounded under the general, and rather degrading, name of small birds. From the mischievous habits of one or two little marauders, a general war of
* We have sometimes asked our fair young friends if they knew as many of the smaller birds as they could count on their fingers ? They usually answered confidently an the affirmative; but could seldom get much beyond one hand.