—more especially if one goes armed with that best of fowling-pieces, a small spy-glass: the best,—since how valueless for purposes of observation is the bleeding, gasping, dying body, compared with the fresh and living creature, as it tilts, trembles, and warbles on the bough before you!
Observe that robin in the oak-tree's top: as he sits and sings, every one of the dozen different notes which he flings down to you is accompanied by a separate flirt and flutter of his whole body, and, as Thoreau says of the squirrel, each movement seems to imply a spectator.
Study that song-sparrow: why is it that he always goes so ragged in spring, and the bluebird so neat?
Is it that the song-sparrow is a wild artist, absorbed in the composition of his lay, and oblivious of ordinary proprieties, while the smooth bluebird and his ash-colored mate cultivate their delicate warble only as a domestic accomplishment, and are always nicely dressed before sitting down at the piano?
Then how exciting i