酷兔英语



[Illustration: GOLDFINCH (page 125)]

BIRD STORIES

FROM BURROUGHS

SKETCHES OF BIRD LIFE

TAKEN FROM THE WORKS OF

JOHN BURROUGHS

_WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

BY LOUIS AGASSIZ FUERTES_

[Device]

BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

The Riverside Press Cambridge

COPYRIGHT, 1871, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1881, 1886, 1894, 1899, 1903,

1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, BY JOHN BURROUGHS

COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

Transcriber's Note:

Hyphenation has been standardised. Minor typographical errors have

been corrected without note. The oe ligature is represented by [oe].

PUBLISHERS' NOTE

John Burroughs's first book, "Wake-Robin," contained a chapter entitled

"The Invitation." It was an invitation to the study of birds. He has

reiterated it, implicitly if not explicitly, in most of the books he has

published since then, and many of his readers have joyfully accepted it.

Indeed, such an invitation from Mr. Burroughs is the best possible

introduction to the birds of our Northeastern States, and it is likewise

an introduction to some very good reading. To convey this invitation to

a wider circle of young readers the most interesting bird stories in Mr.

Burroughs's books have been gathered into a single volume. A chapter is

given to each species of bird, and the chapters are arranged in a sort

of chronological order, according to the time of the bird's arrival in

the spring, the nesting time, or the season when for some other reason

the species is particularly conspicuous. In taking the stories out of

their original setting a few slight verbal alterations have been

necessary here and there, but these have been made either by Mr.

Burroughs himself or with his approval.

CONTENTS

THE BLUEBIRD 1

THE BLUEBIRD (_poem_) 13

THE ROBIN 15

THE FLICKER 21

THE PH[OE]BE 28

THE COMING OF PH[OE]BE (_poem_) 31

THE COWBIRD 33

THE CHIPPING SPARROW 36

THE CHEWINK 39

THE BROWN THRASHER 42

THE HOUSE WREN 47

THE SONG SPARROW 53

THE CHIMNEY SWIFT 61

THE OVEN-BIRD 69

THE CATBIRD 72

THE BOBOLINK 77

THE BOBOLINK (_poem_) 82

THE WOOD THRUSH 83

THE BALTIMORE ORIOLE 91

THE WHIP-POOR-WILL 95

THE BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER: A SEARCH FOR

A RARE NEST 100

THE MARSH HAWK: A MARSH HAWK'S NEST, A YOUNG

HAWK, AND A VISIT TO A QUAIL ON HER NEST 106

THE WINTER WREN 119

THE CEDAR-BIRD 122

THE GOLDFINCH 125

THE HEN-HAWK 130

THE RUFFED GROUSE, OR PARTRIDGE 133

THE PARTRIDGE (_poem_) 137

THE CROW 138

THE CROW (_poem_) 144

THE NORTHERN SHRIKE 147

THE SCREECH OWL 151

THE CHICKADEE 157

THE DOWNY WOODPECKER 161

THE DOWNY WOODPECKER (_poem_) 169

INDEX 173

ILLUSTRATIONS

GOLDFINCH (_in color_). (page 125) _Frontispiece_

A PAIR OF BLUEBIRDS 8

FLICKER (_in color_) 22

CHEWINK, MALE AND FEMALE (_in color_) 40

WOOD THRUSH 84

BALTIMORE ORIOLE, MALE AND FEMALE 92

WHIP-POOR-WILL 96

DOWNY WOODPECKER (_in color_) 162

BIRD STORIES FROM BURROUGHS

THE BLUEBIRD

It is sure to be a bright March morning when you first hear the

bluebird's note; and it is as if the milder influences up above had

found a voice and let a word fall upon your ear, so tender is it and so

prophetic, a hope tinged with a regret.

There never was a happier or more devoted husband than the male

bluebird. He is the gay champion and escort of the female at all times,

and while she is sitting he feeds her regularly. It is very pretty to

watch them building their nest. The male is very active in hunting out a

place and exploring the boxes and cavities, but seems to have no choice

in the matter and is anxious only to please and encourage his mate, who

has the practical turn and knows what will do and what will not. After

she has suited herself he applauds her immensely, and away the two go in

quest of material for the nest, the male acting as guard and flying

above and in advance of the female. She brings all the material and

does all the work of building, he looking on and encouraging her with

gesture and song. He acts also as inspector of her work, but I fear is a

very partial one. She enters the nest with her bit of dry grass or

straw, and, having adjusted it to her notion, withdraws and waits near

by while he goes in and looks it over. On coming out he exclaims very

plainly, "Excellent! excellent!" and away the two go again for more

material.

I was much amused one summer day in seeing a bluebird feeding her young

one in the shaded street of a large town. She had captured a cicada or

harvest-fly, and, after bruising it awhile on the ground, flew with it

to a tree and placed it in the beak of the young bird. It was a large

morsel, and the mother seemed to have doubts of her chick's ability to

dispose of it, for she stood near and watched its efforts with great

solicitude. The young bird struggled valiantly with the cicada, but made

no headway in swallowing it, when the mother took it from him and flew

to the sidewalk, and proceeded to break and bruise it more thoroughly.

Then she again placed it in his beak, and seemed to say, "There, try it

now," and sympathized so thoroughly with his efforts that she repeated

many of his motions and contortions. But the great fly was unyielding,

and, indeed, seemed ridiculously disproportioned to the beak that held

it. The young bird fluttered and fluttered, and screamed, "I'm stuck,

I'm stuck!" till the anxious parent again seized the morsel and carried

it to an iron railing, where she came down upon it for the space of a

minute with all the force and momentum her beak could command. Then she

offered it to her young a third time, but with the same result as

before, except that this time the bird dropped it; but she reached the

ground as soon as the cicada did, and taking it in her beak flew a

little distance to a high board fence, where she sat motionless for some

moments. While pondering the problem how that fly should be broken, the

male bluebird approached her, and said very plainly, and I thought

rather curtly, "Give me that bug," but she quickly resented his

interference and flew farther away, where she sat apparently quite

discouraged when I last saw her.

* * * * *

One day in early May, Ted and I made an expedition to the Shattega, a

still, dark, deep stream that loiters silently through the woods not far

from my cabin. As we paddled along, we were on the alert for any bit of

wild life of bird or beast that might turn up.

There were so many abandonedwoodpecker chambers in the small dead

trees as we went along that I determined to secure the section of a tree

containing a good one to take home and put up for the bluebirds. "Why

don't the bluebirds occupy them here?" inquired Ted. "Oh," I replied,

"bluebirds do not come so far into the woods as this. They prefer

nesting-places in the open, and near human habitations." After carefully

scrutinizing several of the trees, we at last saw one that seemed to

fill the bill. It was a small dead tree-trunk seven or eight inches in

diameter, that leaned out over the water, and from which the top had

been broken. The hole, round and firm, was ten or twelve feet above us.

After considerable effort I succeeded in breaking the stub off near the

ground, and brought it down into the boat. "Just the thing," I said;

"surely the bluebirds will prefer this to an artificial box." But, lo

and behold, it already had bluebirds in it! We had not heard a sound or

seen a feather till the trunk was in our hands, when, on peering into

the cavity, we discovered two young bluebirds about half grown. This was

a predicament indeed!

Well, the only thing we could do was to stand the tree-trunk up again as

well as we could, and as near as we could to where it had stood before.

This was no easy thing. But after a time we had it fairly well

replaced, one end standing in the mud of the shallow water and the other

resting against a tree. This left the hole to the nest about ten feet

below and to one side of its former position. Just then we heard the

voice of one of the parent birds, and we quickly paddled to the other

side of the stream, fifty feet away, to watch her proceedings, saying to

each other, "Too bad! too bad!" The mother bird had a large beetle in

her beak. She alighted upon a limb a few feet above the former site of

her nest, looked down upon us, uttered a note or two, and then dropped

down confidently to the point in the vacant air where the entrance to

her nest had been but a few moments before. Here she hovered on the wing

a second or two, looking for something that was not there, and then

returned to the perch she had just left, apparently not a little

disturbed. She hammered the beetle rather excitedly upon the limb a few

times, as if it were in some way at fault, then dropped down to try for

her nest again. Only vacant air there! She hovers and hovers, her blue

wings flickering in the checkered light; surely that precious hole

_must_ be there; but no, again she is baffled, and again she returns to

her perch, and mauls the poor beetle till it must be reduced to a pulp.

Then she makes a third attempt, then a fourth, and a fifth, and a

sixth, till she becomes very much excited. "What could have happened? am

I dreaming? has that beetle hoodooed me?" she seems to say, and in her

dismay she lets the bug drop, and looks bewilderedly about her. Then she

flies away through the woods, calling. "Going for her mate," I said to

Ted. "She is in deep trouble, and she wants sympathy and help."

In a few minutes we heard her mate answer, and presently the two birds

came hurrying to the spot, both with loaded beaks. They perched upon the

familiar limb above the site of the nest, and the mate seemed to say,

"My dear, what has happened to you? I can find that nest." And he dived

down, and brought up in the empty air just as the mother had done. How

he winnowed it with his eager wings! how he seemed to bear on to that

blank space! His mate sat regarding him intently, confident, I think,

that he would find the clew. But he did not. Baffled and excited, he

returned to the perch beside her. Then she tried again, then he rushed

down once more, then they both assaulted the place, but it would not

give up its secret. They talked, they encouraged each other, and they

kept up the search, now one, now the other, now both together. Sometimes

they dropped down to within a few feet of the entrance to the nest, and

we thought they would surely find it. No, their minds and eyes were

intent only upon that square foot of space where the nest had been. Soon

they withdrew to a large limb many feet higher up, and seemed to say to

themselves, "Well, it is not there, but it must be here somewhere; let

us look about." A few minutes elapsed, when we saw the mother bird

spring from her perch and go straight as an arrow to the nest. Her

maternal eye had proved the quicker. She had found her young. Something

like reason and common sense had come to her rescue; she had taken time

to look about, and behold! there was that precious doorway. She thrust

her head into it, then sent back a call to her mate, then went farther

in, then withdrew. "Yes, it is true, they are here, they are here!" Then

she went in again, gave them the food in her beak, and then gave place

to her mate, who, after similar demonstrations of joy, also gave them

his morsel.

Ted and I breathed freer. A burden had been taken from our minds and

hearts, and we went cheerfully on our way. We had learned something,

too; we had learned that when in the deep woods you think of bluebirds,

bluebirds may be nearer you than you think.

* * * * *

One mid-April morning two pairs of bluebirds were in very active and at

times violentcourtship about my grounds. I could not quite understand

the meaning of all the fuss and flutter. Both birds of each pair were

very demonstrative, but the female in each case the more so. She

followed the male everywhere, lifting and twinkling her wings, and

apparently seeking to win him by both word and gesture. If she was not

telling him by that cheery, animated, confiding, softly endearing speech

of hers, which she poured out incessantly, how much she loved him, what

was she saying? She was constantly filled with a desire to perch upon

the precise spot where he was sitting, and if he had not moved away I

think she would have alighted upon his back. Now and then, when she

flitted away from him, he followed her with like gestures and tones and

demonstrations of affection, but never with quite the same ardor. The

two pairs kept near each other, about the house, the bird-boxes, the

trees, the posts and vines in the vineyard, filling the ear with their

soft, insistent warbles, and the eye with their twinkling azure wings.

[Illustration: BLUEBIRD

Upper, male; lower, female]

Was it this constant presence of rivals on both sides that so stimulated

them and kept them up to such a pitch of courtship? Finally, after I had

watched them over an hour, the birds began to come into collision. As

they met in the vineyard, the two males clinched and fell to the

ground, lying there for a moment with wings sprawled out, like birds

brought down by a gun. Then they separated, and each returned to his

mate, warbling and twinkling his wings. Very soon the females clinched

and fell to the ground and fought savagely, rolling over and over each

other, clawing and tweaking and locking beaks and hanging on like bull

terriers. They did this repeatedly; once one of the males dashed in and

separated them, by giving one of the females a sharp tweak and blow.

Then the males were at it again, their blue plumage mixing with the

green grass and ruffled by the ruddy soil. What a soft, feathery,

ineffectual battle it seemed in both cases!--no sound, no blood, no

flying feathers, just a sudden mixing up and general disarray of blue

wings and tails and ruddy breasts, there on the ground; assault but no

visible wounds; thrust of beak and grip of claw, but no feather loosened

and but little ruffling; long holding of one down by the other, but no


生词表:
  • invitation [,invi´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.邀请;请帖;吸引   (初中英语单词)
  • introduction [,intrə´dʌkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.介绍;引言;引导   (初中英语单词)
  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • convey [kən´vei] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.运送;传达;转让   (初中英语单词)
  • circle [´sə:kəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.圆圈 v.环绕;盘旋   (初中英语单词)
  • volume [´vɔlju:m, ´vɑljəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.卷;书籍;体积;容量   (初中英语单词)
  • arrival [ə´raivəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.到达;到达的人(物)   (初中英语单词)
  • sparrow [´spærəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.麻雀   (初中英语单词)
  • female [´fi:meil] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.女(性)的 n.女人   (初中英语单词)
  • champion [´tʃæmpiən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.冠军 vt.拥护   (初中英语单词)
  • anxious [´æŋkʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.担忧的;渴望的   (初中英语单词)
  • encourage [in´kʌridʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.鼓励;怂勇;促进   (初中英语单词)
  • acting [´æktiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.代理的 n.演戏   (初中英语单词)
  • awhile [ə´wail] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.少顷;片刻   (初中英语单词)
  • ability [ə´biliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(办事)能力;才干   (初中英语单词)
  • thoroughly [´θʌrəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.完全地,彻底地   (初中英语单词)
  • plainly [´pleinli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.平坦地;简单地   (初中英语单词)
  • expedition [,ekspi´diʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.远征;探险;迅速   (初中英语单词)
  • stream [stri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.河 vi.流出;飘扬   (初中英语单词)
  • silently [´sailəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.寂静地;沉默地   (初中英语单词)
  • considerable [kən´sidərəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.重要的;值得重视   (初中英语单词)
  • artificial [,ɑ:ti´fiʃəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.人工的;模拟的   (初中英语单词)
  • feather [´feðə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.羽毛   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • shallow [´ʃæləu] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.肤浅的;表面的   (初中英语单词)
  • vacant [´veikənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.空虚的,无表情的   (初中英语单词)
  • excitedly [ik´saitidli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.兴奋地,激动地   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathy [´simpəθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同情,怜悯   (初中英语单词)
  • presently [´prezəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不久;目前   (初中英语单词)
  • rescue [´reskju:] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.救援;挽救   (初中英语单词)
  • doorway [´dɔ:wei] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.门口   (初中英语单词)
  • violent [´vaiələnt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强暴的;猛烈的   (初中英语单词)
  • flutter [´flʌtə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.飘扬;摆 n.拍动   (初中英语单词)
  • gesture [´dʒestʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.手势 v.打手势   (初中英语单词)
  • softly [´sɔftli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.软化地;柔和地   (初中英语单词)
  • constantly [´kɔnstəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.经常地;不断地   (初中英语单词)
  • affection [ə´fekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.友爱;慈爱   (初中英语单词)
  • constant [´kɔnstənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.坚定的;坚贞的   (初中英语单词)
  • assault [ə´sɔ:lt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.袭击;殴打 n.攻击   (初中英语单词)
  • thrust [θrʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.猛推;冲;刺;挤进   (初中英语单词)
  • species [´spi:ʃi:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(生物的)种,类   (高中英语单词)
  • conspicuous [kən´spikjuəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显著的;出众的   (高中英语单词)
  • flicker [´flikə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.闪烁;忽隐忽现   (高中英语单词)
  • baltimore [´bɔ:ltimɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.巴尔的摩   (高中英语单词)
  • partridge [´pɑ:tridʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.鹧鸪;石鸡   (高中英语单词)
  • escort [´eskɔ:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伴随者;警卫(队)   (高中英语单词)
  • regularly [´regjuləli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.有规律地;经常地   (高中英语单词)
  • inspector [in´spektə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.检查员;监察员   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • sidewalk [´saidwɔ:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.人行道   (高中英语单词)
  • bruise [bru:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伤痕 v.打(碰)伤   (高中英语单词)
  • motionless [´məuʃənləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.静止的;固定的   (高中英语单词)
  • apparently [ə´pærəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.显然,表面上地   (高中英语单词)
  • cavity [´kæviti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.洞,窝;(人体)腔   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • beetle [´bi:tl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.甲虫 vi.忙碌地来回   (高中英语单词)
  • regarding [ri´gɑ:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.关于   (高中英语单词)
  • confident [´kɔnfidənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有信心的,自信的   (高中英语单词)
  • withdrew [wið´dru:] 移动到这儿单词发声  withdraw的过去式   (高中英语单词)
  • cheerfully [´tʃiəfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.高兴地,愉快地   (高中英语单词)
  • learned [´lə:nid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有学问的,博学的   (高中英语单词)
  • hanging [´hæŋiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.绞刑 a.悬挂着的   (高中英语单词)
  • joyfully [´dʒɔifuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.高兴地,快乐地   (英语四级单词)
  • setting [´setiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.安装;排字;布景   (英语四级单词)
  • bluebird [´blu:bə:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.蓝知更鸟   (英语四级单词)
  • thrush [θrʌʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.画眉鸟   (英语四级单词)
  • grouse [graus] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.松鸡 vi.&n.抱怨   (英语四级单词)
  • screech [skri:tʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.尖叫(声)   (英语四级单词)
  • woodpecker [´wud,pekə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.啄木鸟   (英语四级单词)
  • devoted [di´vəutid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.献身…的,忠实的   (英语四级单词)
  • immensely [i´mensli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.极大地,无限地   (英语四级单词)
  • partial [´pɑ:ʃəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.部分的;偏袒的   (英语四级单词)
  • morsel [´mɔ:səl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.佳肴 vt.少量地分配   (英语四级单词)
  • railing [´reiliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.栏杆   (英语四级单词)
  • intently [in´tentli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.专心地   (英语四级单词)
  • cheery [´tʃiəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.愉快的;活泼的   (英语四级单词)
  • precise [pri´sais] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精确的;清楚的   (英语四级单词)
  • vineyard [´vinjəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.葡萄园   (英语四级单词)
  • savagely [´sævidʒli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.野蛮地;原始地   (英语四级单词)
  • repeatedly [ri´pi:tidli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.反复地;再三地   (英语四级单词)
  • riverside [´rivəsaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.河岸 a.河岸上的   (英语六级单词)
  • northeastern [,nɔ:θ´i:stən] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&a.向东北(的)   (英语六级单词)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人的 n.捕获物   (英语六级单词)
  • verbal [´və:bəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.文字上的;口头的   (英语六级单词)
  • bobolink [´bɔbəliŋk] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(北美)食米鸟   (英语六级单词)
  • chickadee [´tʃikədi:] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.山雀   (英语六级单词)
  • hunting [´hʌntiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.打猎   (英语六级单词)
  • valiantly [´væljəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.勇敢地,英勇地   (英语六级单词)
  • abandoned [ə´bændənd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.被抛弃的;无约束的   (英语六级单词)
  • confidently [´kɔnfidəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.有信心地;自信地   (英语六级单词)
  • calling [´kɔ:liŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.点名;职业;欲望   (英语六级单词)
  • courtship [´kɔ:tʃip] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.求爱(时期)   (英语六级单词)
  • animated [´ænimeitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.栩栩如生的;活跃的   (英语六级单词)
  • incessantly [in´sesntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不断地,不停地   (英语六级单词)
  • insistent [in´sistənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.坚持的;逼人注意的   (英语六级单词)
  • collision [kə´liʒən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.碰幢;冲突;互撞事件   (英语六级单词)
  • plumage [´plu:midʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.羽毛;漂亮衣服   (英语六级单词)
  • holding [´həuldiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.保持,固定,存储   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:27:11
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