This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 close observer might publish regular ornithological bulletins of their successive arrivals. Of those that rest with us, the first comer in the spring is the bluebird, whose winter home is in Mexico and Brazil, and whose first song here is a soft, exhilarating, oft-repeated warble, uttered with open, quivering wings, and with such a jubilant heart as to thrill us with delight. Then comes the friendly and social robin. The old ones have not gone far south in winter. Some of them remain here through that dreary season, with the woodpecker; but the young ones migrate in autumn, sometimes as far as Texas. The spring-birds, the warblers, the buntings, finches, sparrows, thrushes, come in quick succession to rear their young. Snipes, quails, partridges, and woodcocks, come a little later. Sandpipers, plovers, teals, and ducks arrive among the latest. Medford Pond was a common resort for several kinds of wild ducks. About seventy-five years ago, a gunner killed thirteen teal at one shot. There are a few birds that awaken a deep curiosity, and confer constant delight through their long sojourn. The barn swallow, that comes from the Gulf of Mexico to spend his summer with us, is always greeted with a joyous welcome about the 10th of May. The rice-bird of Carolina, called the reed-bird in Pennsylvania, and the butter-bird in Cuba, is called here the bob-o-lincoln; and it amuses us greatly. The male, when he arrives, is dressed up as showily as a field-officer on parade-day, and seems to be quite as happy. Fuddled with animal spirits, he appears not to know what to do, and flies and sings as if he needed two tongues to utter all his joy. We might speak of the little wren, that creeps into any hole under our eaves, and there rears its numerous family; the humming-bird, that builds so skilfully in our gardens that we never find its nest; the yellow-bird, that makes the air resound with its love-notes; the thrush, that seems made to give the highest concert-pitch in the melody of the woods. To these we might add the night-hawk and the whip-poor-will, and many more that spend their summer with us; but these are enough to show that the dwellers in Medford are favored each season with the sight and songs of a rich variety of birds. We find the following record made March 8, 1631: “Flocks of wild pigeons this day so thick that they obscure the light.” Another record shows that our fathers preserved the game by laws. “Sept. 3, 1634: There is leave granted (by the ”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.