A history of British birds, indigenous and migratory, Том 1

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Сторінка 488 - Many were the attempts of the neighbouring youths to get at this eyry: the difficulty whetted their inclinations, and each was ambitious of surmounting the arduous task. But when they arrived at the swelling, it jutted out so in their way, and was so far beyond their grasp, that the most daring lads were awed, and acknowledged the undertaking to be too hazardous. So the ravens built on, nest upon nest, in perfect security, till the fatal day arrived in which the wood was to be levelled. It was in...
Сторінка 489 - February, when those birds usually sit. The saw was applied to the butt, the wedges were inserted into the opening, the woods echoed to the heavy blows of the beetle or mallet, the tree nodded to its fall ; but still the dam sat on. At last, when it gave way, the bird was flung from her nest; and, though her parental affection deserved a better fate, was whipped down by the twigs, which brought her dead to the ground.
Сторінка 488 - In the centre of this grove there stood an oak, which, though shapely and tall on the whole, bulged out into a large excrescence about the middle of the stem. On this a pair of ravens had fixed their residence for such a series of years, that the oak was distinguished by the title of the Raven Tree.
Сторінка 194 - ... you may pass through a flock of ptarmigans without observing a single individual, although some of them may not be ten yards distant. When squatted, however, they utter no sound, their object being to conceal themselves ; and if you discover the one from which the cry has proceeded...
Сторінка 136 - ... for the purpose. After dark, two men start in pursuit of the birds : one of them is provided with a gun, the other with a long pole, to either end of which a flambeau is attached. The man with the flambeau now goes in advance, the other remaining at the prostrate tree, to keep it and the two lights in an exact line with each other. By this curious contrivance they cannot well go astray in the forest. Thus they proceed...
Сторінка 545 - And that foxes, cats, hawks, &c. might not interrupt them, they had barricadoed not only the nest, but the bush itself all round, with briers and thorns, in a formidable manner. The materials in the inside of the nest were soft, warm, and comfortable to the touch, but all round, on the outside, so rough, strong, and firmly entwined with the bush, that, without a hedge-knife, or something of the kind, even a man could not, without much pain and trouble, get at their young ; the barrier from the outer...
Сторінка 339 - In this manner they remain through the winter, feeding on the hornbeam seeds which have fallen to the ground, and only separate at the approach of the breeding season. I believe the male has no song worth notice : in warm days in March I have heard them, when a number have been sitting together on a tree, uttering a few notes in a soft tone, bearing some resemblance to those of the bullfinch.
Сторінка 489 - ... the fatal day arrived in which the wood was to be levelled. It was in the month of February, when those birds usually sit. The saw was applied to the butt, the wedges were inserted into the opening, the woods echoed to the heavy blows of the beetle or mallet, the tree nodded to its fall ; but still the dam sat on.
Сторінка 193 - These beautiful birds while feeding, run and walk among the weather-beaten and lichen-crusted fragments of rock, from which it is very difficult to distinguish them when they remain motionless, as they invariably do should a person be in sight. Indeed, unless you are directed to a particular spot by their strange low croaking cry, which...
Сторінка 274 - British list, consists in the capture of a specimen of the migratory pigeon of America, recorded by Professor Fleming to have been " shot while perched on a wall in the neighbourhood of a pigeon-house at Westhall, in the parish of Monymail, Fifeshire, 1st December, 1825. The feathers were quite fresh and entire, like those of a wild bird." * A second specimen is said to have been killed in Roxburghshire, but we have not been able to trace it. According to Temminck, it occurs in a similar stray manner...

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