Vol. II. No. 1. JULY, 1897.
T SHOULD not be overlooked by the young observer that if he would learn to recognize at once any particular bird, he should make himself acquainted with the song and call notes of every bird around him. The identification, however, of the many feathered creatures with which we meet in our rambles has heretofore required so much patience, that, though a delight to the enthusiast, few have time to acquire any great intimacy with them. To get this acquaintance with the birds, the observer has need to be prepared to explore perilous places, to climb lofty trees, and to meet with frequent mishaps. To be sure if every veritable secret of their habits is to be pried into, this pursuit will continue to be plied as patiently as it has ever been. The opportunity, however, to secure a satisfactory knowledge of bird song and bird life by a most delightful method has at last come to every one.
A gentleman who has taken a great interest in Birds from the appearance of the first number, but whose acquaintance with living birds is quite limited, visited one of our parks a few days ago, taking with him the latest number of the magazine. His object, he said, was to find there as many of the living forms of the specimens represented as he could. “Seating myself amidst a small grove of trees, what was my delight at seeing a Red Wing alight on a telegraph wire stretching across the park. Examining the picture in Birds I was somewhat disappointed to find that the live specimen was not so brilliantly marked as in the picture. Presently, however, another Blackbird alighted near, who seemed to be the veritable presentment of the photograph. Then it occurred to me that I had seen the Red Wing before, without knowing its name. It kept repeating a rich, juicy note, oncher-la-ree-e! its tail tetering at quick intervals. A few days later I observed a large number of Red Wings near the Hyde Park water works, in the vicinity of which, among the trees and in the marshes, I also saw many other birds unknown to me. With Birds in my hands, I identified the Robin, who ran along the ground quite close to me, anon summoning with his beak the incautious angle worm to the surface. The Jays were noisy and numerous, and I observed many new traits in the Wood Thrush, so like the Robin that I was at first in some doubt about it. I heard very few birds sing that day, most of them being busy in search of food for their young.”
[continued on page 17.]
BIRD SONG—Continued from page 1.
Many of our singing birds may be easily identified by any one who carries in his mind the images which are presented in our remarkable pictures. See the birds at home, as it were, and hear their songs.
Those who fancy that few native birds live in our parks will be surprised to read the following list of them now visible to the eyes of so careful an observer as Mr. J. Chester Lyman.
“About the 20th of May I walked one afternoon in Lincoln Park with a friend whose early study had made him familiar with birds generally, and we noted the following varieties:
1 Magnolia Warbler.
2 Yellow Warbler.
3 Black Poll Warbler. (Black-polled Yellowthroat)
4 Black-Throated Blue Warbler.
5 Black-Throated Queen Warbler. (Black-throated Green Warbler?)
6 Blackburnian Warbler.
7 Chestnut-sided Warbler.
8 Golden-crowned Thrush.
9 Wilson’s Thrush. (Veery)
10 Song Thrush.
11 Catbird. (Grey)
12 Bluebird. (Eastern)
13 Kingbird. (Eastern)
14 Least Fly Catcher. (Flycatcher)
15 Wood Pewee Fly Catcher. (Eastern Wood Pewee)
16 Great Crested Fly Catcher. (Flycatcher)
17 Red-eyed Vireo.
18 Chimney Swallow. (Chimney Swift)
19 Barn Swallow.
20 Purple Martin.
21 Red Start. (American Redstart)
22 House Wren.
23 Purple Grackle. (Common)
24 White-throated Sparrow.
25 Song Sparrow.
26 Robin. (American)
27 Blue Jay.
28 Red-Headed Woodpecker.
29 Kingfisher. (Belted)
30 Night Hawk. (Common)
31 Yellow-Billed Cuckoo.
32 Scarlet Tanager, Male and Female.
33 Gull, or Wilson’s Tern. (Common Tern)
34 The Omni-present English Sparrow. (House)
“On a similar walk, one week earlier, we saw about the same number of varieties, including, however, the Yellow Breasted Chat, and the Mourning, Bay Breasted, and Blue Yellow Backed Warblers.”
The sweetest songsters are easily accessible, and all may enjoy their presence.
C. C. Marble.
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:10-12 ESV)
I added links to xeno-canto.org for the sound of the birds on the list. It took awhile to figure out what some of the birds are called today. I am sure some are incorrect, but did my best. I used the “song” recordings where available and a few of the “call” ones where either the birds don’t sing or no recording is available.
They each have a distinct sound even as an instrument does.
Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? (1 Corinthians 14:7-8 NKJV)
If the birds changed songs all the time, how would they find mates, defend their territory, or know the sound of an enemy? Isn’t the Lord gracious in the way He designed the birds to sing so uniquely.
Listening to them was actually quite enjoyable. They each have their own way of communicating to their fellow birds and/or enemies.
The above article is an article in the monthly serial for May 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.
To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)
Next Article – The Canvas-back Duck
Previous Article – The Mallard Duck
xeno-canto.org – Birds Sounds of the World