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Pretty Is That Pretty Sings By CAROL C. GRAIN ii B ACK home" is a woods which in spring and summer serves as a vast hotel for a thousand or more birds that apparently return to the Tie spot year after year as old chums are wont to do. They haunt the wild rose shrubbery, the biackbem tangles, the thorny haw trees, the ash, the beech and all the rest. Rabbits bound out of tufts of grass and Miuirrels bark from many branches, but the sound that most please the Stroller in this happy grove is the r chestration of it dying inhabitants. Dozens of brown thrashers reside in this special patch of favored woodland and dispense life-giving strains of lUprcmc melody. Long, rusty fellows they are. almost twelve inches from the tip of the tail to the point of the bill. They hover close to the ground and rustic along beneath the bushes in an alarming manner When disturbed, they scold rapidly with a sharp but monotonous "sit" and flirt the tail so vigorously that the action cannot be termed less than thrashing; this habit and the hue of his plumage have earned for him the somewhat plebeian name of brown thrasher. However, this feathered fellow has two outstanding characteristics that endear him to bird lovers. He wears a sporty vest ol creamy white, thickly strewn with arrowheads of brown. This part of his costume in striking: unfortunately his beauty end there. The other characteristic, the dom inant one. i his superb song which need only to be heard to be appreciated. He ar ranges his notes in pairs, triplets, and fours and makes many charming repetitions "Lest you should think he never could recapture The first fine careless rapture." The most wonderful chorus that 1 ever heard was given one pring day by these duky residents of the grove "back home." Between four and five o'clock of an after noon the sun. which had remained hidden during the preceding hours, emerged in all its enthralling splendor like a rainbow long re trained but at last released. From tret stubs, boughs and low bushes the brown thrahers joyfully greeted the luminary and made the air vibrant with their gladness. The whole woods was transformed, lifted up. and freshened by that flood of liquid note and the exquisite melody of that grand chorus. "The thrasher's song entrances every listener." says Xeltje Blanchan, the naturalist. "He seems rather proud of it. for although at other times he may keep himself well concealed among the shrubbery, when about to sing he chooses a conspicuous perch as if t attract attention to his truly brilliant performance." Every morning and evening the bird bursts forth with his marvelous melody, but I am inclined to dis agree with sit si Blanchan on the score of his forward ness, M experience has taught me that the thrasher likes to get into some thick little tree or bit ol shrub bery before beginning his repertory; thus he can see any intruder while he himself remains m the confusing mass of foliage. Sometimes 1 wonder if the bird knowi that, aside from his streaked vest, he has few fine feathers and that his song is much more winning than Ins rusty raiment. However that may be. the person that has the good fortune to hear him in the evening or early morning can truthfully testify: " Twai a song that rippled And revelled and ran Kver back to the note From whence it began ; Rising and falling It never did stay. Like a fountain that feeds On itself all the day." Not infrequently, indeed, the song of the .thrasher is mistaken for that of its famous cousin, the mocking bird. Though more retiring than either the mocker or The lanky old bird is here seen feeding the baby, which hat a capacious throat nlmott larfe enough to wallow the head of its father or mother. the catbird, the brown haunter of the underbrush scem to me superior in the richness of his notes. The mocker, as the name implies, is an imitator ; the catbird, i f the same pattern, makes a good start but becomes disgusted with himself and fizzles; the thrasher starts well, continues ably, and ends well. In this woods "back home" are new nests of the brown birds beside their old ones. Thev varv in dis- Mr. (or Mr.) Brown Thrasher hat spied the camera. In the meantime the baby waits for the morsel. tance from the ground, some reaching as high as a grown man and others no higher than a toddling babv Where the wild roses flourish appears to be a favorite location for the crude conglomeration ,,f twigs which Upon examination discloses a lining of dried grass feathers, r hair. The female of this species is a brave little lady. As she will not readily leave her nest the stroller can ap pl tch within three or four feet of her, but tin moment he attempts to pass a hand through the mac of thorny shrubbery she flutters aside with an attention-attracting .show of helplessness. Until she is actually flushed she depends upon her brown dress and tawny nesl tor c n cealment. Man, however, is a sharp-eyed creature. What does the thrasher eat' The farm er- of bygone days dubbed htm "tin planting bird" because they believed the canny fel low hung around while they planted corn and made merry as he contemplated the coming featt The tillers of the crops interpreted his long as follows: "Hurry up. hurry up! Plough it. p it! Harrow it. harrow it! Hoe it. hoc it! Scatter it. scatter it! Seed it. mo! i: ! Cora it overl Rake it, rake it! Push it in. push it in! Weed it. weed it! Pull 'em Up, pull m up ! ( )h. leave it alone !" The thrasher was guilty but not a- crim inal, for during the planting period only about three per cent of his food consists of corn. Though occasionally indulging in fruit, he evinces a decided preference for animal food such as grasshoppers and caterpillars. From the United State s Government he ha earned a citation that he "much more than Compensates for that portion of his diet derived from the cult Mted crops." This homely fellow. Mr. Brown Thl r, i like human beings that have not been blessed with beauty of face and figure ; if thev can't be beautiful, the must be charming somehow. When he lings, the tx his melody obliterates all else; gone are the gawkiness of his form and the rusty red of his lhabby suil when he gives a concert a concert that is as free as the air itself. Birds Serve the Earth The earth could get along without Man. but not without Birds. Man is not essential to the earth ; birds are. Birds are the flying squadrons of Nature, doing police duty, now north, now south. They follow the seasons, not for comfort, but on duty. As summer comes, danger comes from pests, and so the birds come. As summer goes, danger recedes, and the birds go back to their southern duty. Wherever there is an abnormal outbreak of insect life, the birds mobilize there to check it. Flying over a country they can tell by the foliage of the trees if they are need I there; withered forests tell them that the enemy has appeared in force. Birds are the great planters of the earth: seeded vast spaces of wilderness, and crownfd the crests of rocky hills with trees They are the guardians of our orchards and grain fields. Carnivorous birds, like Eagles, Vultures, Crows, Hawks and Herons, keep the earth clean of decaying flesh that would Otherwise pollute soil and water. Whenever you look at a bird you see a M nderful creation. It is a greater traveler and a stronger creature compara tively than you will ever be. To kill it is to affront Nature. The bird has beauty, matte, fleetness, wonderful domestic skill and devo tion, and these hae always appealed to re fined natures. To lower natures the eco nomic appeal must also be made. Don't kill birds. If the birds were entirely to disap pear tomorrow, human life would not endure long thereafter. UNLESS something is done as, sav, the prompt passage of a Federal law the American, or bald eagle, emblem of American liberty and ideals, will be terminated. The Territorial legislature of Alaska. April 30, 1(17. passed a bounty law providing for the payment of hfty cents for each eagle destroyed By April in. 1919, this law had resulted in the killing oi 5,600 eagles. Not Content With confining their op ra Mons to Alaskan territory, the bounty seekers extended hem into the British provinces adjoining Alaska. B) this tune, it is stated OH good authoritv. certainly one half, perhaps more than three -quarters of the 'entire species has alread) been sacrificed shall this destruc lOfl i go on? F r patriotic reasons, if for no other this vandalism should he checked, and at once. The species has never been what one would call plentiful, and SS timates of its number have been greatly exaggerated Any naturalist will tell you that the hostility to this inoffensive bird is based rather on misinformation and ignorant prejudice than on any real harm done by it. One hears tales of its ferocity and destructiveness to An Appeal in Behalf of the American Eagle By AUDREY BENNETT game or domestic animals, which are. for the n part, pure fiction, for the rest, usually gross e -Hons. Futhermore. it is the demonstrated policy the United States Department of Agriculture to look unfavorably upon bounty laws for the extermination I birds of prey. A great deal is spent every year ill ' control of rodents which do a great deal of and whose increase is favored by the destruction 01 such birds. It is a migratory bird, and the right to destroj cannot be claimed by any state or territory. Like mosl 1 1 OUT migratory birds it should be protected by the Federal Government, especially as the ettecl 01 N laws for its preservation is void in the majority 01 nr states by the action of a single territoi . The inditYerei.ee of the public to the fate of tfts magnificent bird oi American tradition is undoubted! due tO the lack of information concerning its threaten extinction. This situation calls for publicity, and nir lover-, students, our patriotic and scientific SOCietlC should band together, and make a strong ippeJ w' 1 the aid of the publie press, for the protection and p ervation of this noble bird the famous American. Oi bald eagle. . .. The eagle's appearance gives us so strong a tee mg Oi its tell sumciciicy that we have never thottgM oi as needing protection. Its piercing eye, its stout J" its expression which is verv impressive in it; P.l,a resoluteness mki ns think of it as a bird tnai i The American or Bald Easlc Phofo (,ur(ety Amer Muirum ol Nt H ittory . . . i.,, I rail to insure its own self-preservation, nut no Vrjther permanently escape the deliberate attack of man. -we must admit that the eagle is not a fit cmhlr inst our nation, or we must move to protect it a calumny and destruction.