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Preparing for departure hence,
"May God, by whom is seen and heard
Departing men and wandering bird,
And guide us to the land unknown!"-W. HAYLEY.
13. The dress or plumage of birds is not only admirable for its fitness to the ends for which it was designed-for its softness, smoothness, compactness, and lightness—but also for the most brilliant coloring which is lavished upon so many of the "winged denizens15 of the air." This is more especially true of birds of the torrid zone, whose glowing colors, ri valing the hues of the rainbow, mock the efforts of the artist to depict16 them in their gorgeous richness and beauty.
14. But it is the singing of birds-the melody of the "songsters of the grove"-and the grace of their motions, not less than their beautiful plumage, which have thrown such a charm around these "creatures of freedom and light,' as ever to have made them favorite subjects of poetry and song. The study of the forms, history, and habits of birds, abundantly illustrated as all these subjects have been by the genius of the poet and the painter, can not fail to be both interesting and instructive to every lover of Nature; and its happy tendency must be to lead the mind "from Nature up to Nature's God."
15. The first and most plainly-marked division of birds is into two large groups, Land Birds and Water Birds. Of the. former there are five great divisions or orders, which are designated as, 1st, Birds of Prey; 2d, Perchers, or sparrow-like birds; 3d, Climbers, such as the parrots, woodpeckers, and cuckoos; 4th, Scratchers, or poultry birds; and, 5th, Runners, which embrace the ostriches. Of the Water Birds there are two great divisions or orders, designated by the names Waders and Swimmers.
16. These divisions into orders take their rise chiefly from marked differences in the feet or claws of birds, some of which 1.ave already been noticed. Each of these orders is farther di
vided into families-the external marks on which these divisions are founded being chiefly differences in the forms of the bills. Thus some families are known as the cleft-bills, some as toothed-bills, some as cone-bills, and others as thin-bills. The whole number of different species of birds described has been estimated at about six thousand.
1 MAM-MA'-LI-A, animals that suckle their young. See Third Reader.
STRUCT'-URE, arrangement of parts.
3 EL-E-MENT, natural dwelling-place, as the 11 EX'-QUIS-ITE, very nice; exact.
4 PRO-PEL', move.
5 BUÖY-ANT, light; floating.
6 RE-CEP -TA-CLE, a place in which thing is contained.
1 CAV-I-TIES, hollow places.
8 CAR-NIV'-O-ROUS, flesh-eating.
9 TAL-ON, the whole foot of a bird of prey. 10 E-LAB'-O-RATE, studied with great care.
12 MI-GRA-TION, removal from one climate or country to another.
13 E-CON'-O-MY, arrangement; plan.
With your earth-treading feet and
Where shall man wander, and where shall he dwell,
2. Ye have nests on the mountain all rugged and stark,1
Ye skim where the stream parts the orchard-decked land, Ye dance where the foam sweeps the desolate strand.
3. Beautiful birds! ye come thickly around
When the bud's on the branch and the snow's on the
Ye come when the richest of roses flush out, And ye come when the yellow leaf eddies1 about. 4. Beautiful birds! how the school-boy remembers The warblers that chorused5 his holiday tune; The robin that chirped in the frosty December, The blackbird that whistled through flower-crowned June:
The school-boy remembers his holiday ramble,
When he pulled every blossom of palm he could see, When his finger was raised as he stopped in the bramble With "Hark! there's the cuckoo; how near he must be!"
5. Beautiful creatures of freedom and light!
Oh! where is the eye that groweth not bright
6. I will tell them to find me a grave when I die,
5 CHō'-RUSED, sung in chorus or concert. 6 DIT-TIES, little poems to be sung.
7 LEV'-ER-ET, a hare in the first year of her age.
3 BŎN'-NIE (or bon'-ny), gay; cheerful. ĚD'-DIES, Moves circularly when falling to 8 RE'-QUI-EM, a hymn sung for the dead. the ground.
STÄRK, lone; still; barren.
BROOD, sit on and cover their eggs in their
I. BIRDS OF PREY.
THE FALCON TRIBE.
Scale of Feet.
1. Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysæta. 2. Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus. 3. Pald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus. 4. Common Kite, Falco milvus. 5. Swallow-tailed Hawk, Falco furcatus. 6. Mexican Harpy Eagle, Thrasætus harpyia. 7. Ger-falcon, Falco gyrfalco. 8. Sparrow Hawk, Falco nisus. 9. South American Crested Hawk, Spizætus cristatellus. 10. Goshawk, Falco palumbarius. 11. Osprey, Falco haliætus.
1. THE first order of birds consists of the birds of prey, which embrace three families, known as, 1st, the FALCONS, which include the eagles, kites, buzzards, and hawks; 2d, the VULTURES; and, 3d, the OWLS. All of the falcon tribe, except two or three of the larger eagles, are generally known by the common name of hawks. The birds of prey and the carnivorous quadrupeds are very much alike in general character, both being large and strong, of dispositions fierce and daring, and the whole frame adapted for swift pursuit or powerful action.
2. In treating of the falcon tribe the first place is given to the EAGLE, on account of its great size and strength, the
grandeur of its aspect, and the dignity of its movements. The golden eagle, which is about three feet in length, having a plumage of a deep and rich yellowish-brown, glossed on the back and wings with purple, is a truly magnificent bird, and has ever been associated with majesty or nobility. By the ancient Greeks and Romans he was called the "bird of Jove;" and by all rude and savage nations he is regarded as the appropriate emblem1 of courage and independence.
3. The golden eagle is found throughout the whole circuit of the globe. The eyry2 of this noble bird is generally the face of some stupendous inland cliff, with its nest on a projecting shelf, or on some dwarf tree that grows from the rock, generally in a situation difficult of access, and often out of the reach of shot either from below or from the top of the precipice.
4. The eagle, when in search of food, surveys the ground by soaring above it, often to an immense height; and when its rapid eye detects its prey, it rushes downward with the rapidity of an arrow, and seldom fails to seize the object at which it aims. In this manner hares, lambs, grouse, and sometimes the young of deer and foxes, are borne away to feed its young.
5. During our revolutionary war a golden eagle had placed her nest below one of the cliffs on the Hudson River. A soldier was let down by his companions, suspended by a rope round his body. When he reached the nest he suddenly found himself furiously assailed by the eagle. In self-defense he drew the only weapon about him, his knife, and made repeated thrusts at the bird, when accidentally he cut the rope nearly off. It began unraveling, when those above hastily drew him up, and relieved him from his perilous situation at the moment when he expected to be precipitated to the bottom; but so powerful was the effect of the fear he had experienced, that within three days his head became quite gray. 6. The white-headed, or bald eagle, as it is called, equaling in size the golden eagle, is the most common of the eagle tribe in this country, and the one adopted by us as our national emblem. It is not bald-headed, as its name indicates; but the appearance of the white feathers of the head, con