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Bird Families - Part I - The Children's Book of Birds by: Olive Thorne Miller
Transcript of Bird Families - Part I - The Children's Book of Birds by: Olive Thorne Miller
Bird scholars or Ornithology, have placed the birds in groups which they call families, to make it easier to find out about them, and write about them. This way of arranging them in books is called classification—or forming them into classes. s What is a Bird Family? Examples
Bird Families HERON FAMILY BLACK NECKED STILT FAMILY CLAPPER RAIL FAMILY EAGLE & HAWK FAMILY The
Family Marsh Blackbird Crow Blackbirds Meadow Starlings Orioles Blackbirds are walkers.
They dress mostly in black, and they are of medium size.
Some of them will generally be found on the ground in a marsh or a meadow.
They are social birds, that is, they go in flocks.
Fond as they are of society, however, there is one time when they are willing to be a little apart from the blackbird world.
That is when they are nesting and rearing a young family. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD He is not so large as a robin, and is black all over, excepting one place on the wings. On these are bright stripes of red and orange, which seem to be on the shoulders when the wings are closed. They make the bird very gay, when he spreads them out in flying.
The red-wing's mate is a modest-looking bird in stripes of brown and black. She is a plodding sort of a creature, too. She walks about on the ground, looking for grubs or insects so busily that she hardly seems to see anything else. The nest is usually in a marsh. At any rate, it must be near the water, for red-wings are as fond of the water as any old sailor. It is hung between reeds, or in the branches of a low bush. It is a comfortable, bag-like affair, deep enough and big enough to hold the restless blackbird babies. While the mother red-wing is sitting, her mate stays near her and sings a great deal. His song is a loud, sweet "hwa-ker-ee," which may be heard a long way off. When nestlings are out, he is one of the most busy and fussy of birds. He helps in the feeding, and seems to be a good and careful father. But when the young ones are grown up and able to feed themselves, a curious thing happens. All the gay red-wings in a neighborhood come together in a flock again. And all the young ones and the mothers stay in another flock. The red-wing is a very nervous and uneasy fellow. While his mate is sitting he is always on guard to see that no harm comes to her. In the picture you can see he looks much concerned, as if he had discovered something. Then he makes a great row if any one comes near. He will give such cries of distress that one would think he was hurt, or that his nestlings were being stolen away. If the enemy is a crow, come to feed quietly on the meadow, he will fly at him, try to peck his head, and annoy him till he goes away. If it is a person who alarms him, he will circle about over his head with loud cries, and now and then swoop down as if he meant to attack him. In fact, he shows so much distress that it is not very pleasant to stay near him.