liked, I thought, for after a certain amount of suspicion, an innocent person gets resentful; at any rate I was going to see that nest. Creeping up cautiously when the mother bird was away, so as not to scare her, and carefully parting the mallows, I looked in. Yes, there it was, a beautiful little sage-green nest of old grass laid in a coil. I felt as pleased as if having a right to share the family happiness. After that I watched the small worker gather material with new interest, knowing where she was going to put it. She worked fast, but did not take the first thing she found, by any means. With a flit of the wing she went in nervous haste from cockle to cockle, looking eagerly about her. Jumping down to the ground, she picked up a bit of grass, threw it down dissatisfied, and turned away like a person looking for something. At last she lit on the side of a thistle, and tweaking out a fibre, flew with it to the nest.
“A month after the first encounter with the father Lazuli, I found him looking at me around the corner of a cockle stalk, and in passing back again, caught him singing full tilt, though his bill was full of insects! After we had turned our backs I looked over my shoulder and had the satisfaction of seeing him take his beakful to the nest. You couldn’t help admiring him, for though not a warrior who would snap his bill over the head of an enemy of his home, he had a gallant holiday air with his blue coat and merry song, and you felt sure his little brown mate would get cheer and courage enough from his presence to make family dangers appear less frightful.”
lazuli bunting.From col. John F. Ferry. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.
THE LAZULI BUNTING.
You think you have seen me before? Well, I must admit my relative, the Indigo Bunting, and I do look alike. They say though, I am the prettier bird of the two. Turn to your May number, page 174, and decide for yourselves.
I live farther west than he does. You find him in the eastern and middle states. Then he disappears and I take his place, all the way from the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean.
Some people call me the Lazuli Painted Finch. That’s funny, for I never painted anything in my life—not even my cheeks. Would you like to know how my mate and I go to housekeeping? A lady who visits California, where I live, will tell you all about it. She rides a horse called Mountain Billy. He will stand still under a tree so that she can peep into nests and count the eggs, when the mother bird is away.
She can travel a good many miles in that way, and meet lots of birds. She says in her book, that she has got acquainted with seventy-five families, without robbing one nest, or doing the little creatures any harm.
Well, one day this lady saw a brownish bird flying busily back and forth to some tall green weeds. After a while a handsome blue Bunting flew along side of her, full of life and joy.
That was my mate and I. How frightened I was! for our nest was in those green weeds and not very far from the ground. I flew away as soon as I could pluck up courage, but not far, so that I could watch the lady and the nest. How my heart jumped when I saw her creep up, part the weeds and look in. All she saw was a few twigs and a sage-green nest of old grass laid in a coil. My mate hadn’t put in the lining yet; you see it takes her quite a while to get the thistle down and the hair and strips of bark for the inside. The next time the lady passed, the house was done and my mate was sitting on the nest. She just looked down at us from the back of Mountain Billy and passed on.
Four weeks after, she came again, and there I was, flying about and singing “like a bird,” my mouth full of insects, too. I waited ’till she had turned away before I flew to the nest to feed our little ones. I didn’t know, you see, that she was such a good friend of ours, or I wouldn’t have been so afraid.
SUMMER TANAGER.—Piranga rubra. Other names: “Summer Red-bird,” “Rose Tanager.”
Range—Eastern United States west to the edge of the Plains; north regularly to about 40°—New Jersey, central Ohio, Illinois, casually north to Connecticut and Ontario, accidentally to Nova Scotia, wintering in Cuba, Central America, and northern South America. (Davie.)
Nest—Of bark strips and leaves interwoven with various vegetable substances, on drooping branch of tree.
Eggs—Three or four, bluish-white or greenish-blue, with cinnamon or olive-brown markings.
AMERICAN WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE—Anser albifrons gambeli. Other names: “Laughing Goose,” “Speckle Belly.”
Range—North America, breeding far northward; in winter south to Mexico and Cuba, rare on the Atlantic coast.
Nest—On the ground, of grasses lined with down.
Eggs—Six or seven, dull greenish-yellow with obscure darker tints.
TURNSTONE.—Arenaria interpres. Other names: “Brant Bird,” “Calico-back,” “Bead-bird,” “Sand-runner,” “Chickling,” “Horse-foot Snipe.”
Range—Nearly cosmopolitan; nests in the Arctic regions, and in America migrates southward to Patagonia. (Chapman.)
Nest—A slight depression on the ground.
Eggs—Two or four, greenish-drab, spotted all over with brown.
THE BELTED PIPING PLOVER.—Aegialitis meloda circumcincta.
Range—Missouri river region; occasionally eastward to the Atlantic coast.
Nest—Depression in the sand without lining.
Eggs—Four, light gray to creamy buff, finely speckled with blackish brown and purplish gray.
WILD TURKEY—Meleagris gallopava.
Range—Eastern United States from Pennsylvania southward to Florida, west to Wisconsin, the Indian Territory and Texas.
Nest—On the ground, at the base of a bush or tree.
Eggs—Ten to fourteen, pale cream buff, finely and evenly