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birds were usually hatched, and sometimes grew to half their size, yet none ever arrived at maturity. I myself have seen these foundlings in their nest displaying a strange ferocity of nature, so as scarcely to bear to be looked at, and snapping with their bills by way of menace. In short, they always died, perhaps for want of proper sustenance : but the owner thought that by their fierce and wild demeanour they frighted their foster-mothers, and so were starved.

Virgil, as a familiar occurrence, by way of simile, describes a dove haunting the cavern of a rock in such engaging numbers, that I cannot refrain from quoting the passage : and John Dryden has rendered it so happily in our language, that without farther excuse I shall add his translation also :

“Qualis speluncâ subito commota Columba,

Cui domus, et dulces latebroso in pumice nidi,
Fertur in arva volans, plausumque exterrita pennis,
Dat tecto ingentem-mox aere lapsa quieto,
Radit iter liquidum, celeres neque commovet alas.”

“ As when a dove her rocky hold forsakes,

Rous’d, in a fright her sounding wings she shakes ;
The cavern rings with clattering :-out she flies,
And leaves her callow care, and cleaves the skies :
At first she flatters :—but at length she springs
To smoother flight, and shoots upon her winys."

LETTERS TO THE HON. DAINES BARRINGTON.

LETTER I.

SELBORNE, June 30th, 1769. TVIHEN I was in town last month I partly engaged W that I would sometime do myself the honour to

write to you on the subject of natural history ; and I am the more ready to fulfil my promise, because I see you are a gentleman of great candour, and one that will make allowances; especially where the writer professes to be an outdoor naturalist, one that takes his observations from the subject itself, and not from the writings of others.

THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF THE SUMMER BIRDS OF PAS

SAGE WHICH I HAVE DISCOVERED IN THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD, RANGED SOMEWHAT IN THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY APPEAR :

RAII NOMINA. USUALLY APPEARS ABOUT

2 The middle of March : harsh 1. Wryneck. Junx, sive torquilla. {

qurbo note. 2. Smallest wil. S Regulus non crista- s March 23rd : chirps till low-wren, 1 tus.

1 September. 3. Swallow, Hirundo domestica. April 13th. 4. Martin, Hirundo rustica. Ditto. 5. Sand-martin, Hirundo riparia. Ditto. 6. Blackcap, Atricapilla.

Ditto : a sweet wild note. 7. Nightingale, Luscinia.

Beginning of April. 8. Cuckoo, Cuculus.

Middle of April.

RAII NOMINA. USUALLY APPEARS ABOUT 9. Middle willow. Regulus non crista- (Middle of April : a sweet wren, l tus.

I plaintive note. 10. White-throat, Ficedula affinis.

Ditto: mean note; sings

1 on till September. 11. Red-start, Ruticilla.

Ditto: more agreeable song. 12. Stone-curlew,

End of March : loud nocOedicnemus.

1 turnal whistle. 13. Turtle-dove, Turtur. 14. Grasshopper- s Alauda minima

(Middle of April : a small

{ sibilous note, till he lark, i locustæ voce.

lend of July. 15. Swift, Hirundo apus. About April 27th. 16. Less reed-spar- / Passer arundinaceus

dinarewe A sweet polyglot, but hurry.

{ ing: it has the notes row, l minor.

1 of many birds. 17. Land-ra Ortygometra.

| A loud harsh note, “crex,

I crex.” 18. Largest wil. Regulus non crista

met ( Cantat voce stridula locustoe;

end of April, on the tops low wren, 1 tus.

of high beeches. 19. Goat-sucker, so

( Beginning of May : chat{ Caprimulgus.

ters by night with a or Fern-owl, 19

singular noise.

(May 12th : a very mute 20. Fly-catcher, Stoparola. { bird ; this is the latest

summer bird of passage.

This assemblage of curious and amusing birds belongs to ten several genera of the Linnæan system; and are all of the ordo of passeres save the jynx and cuculus, which are picæ, and the charadrius (Oedicnemus) and rallus (ortygometra), which are gralle.

These birds, as they stand numerically, belong to the following Linnæan genera :

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Jynx.

17. Columba.
2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, Motacilla. 13. Rallus.
3, 4, 5, 15,

Hirundo. 19. Caprimulgus.
Cuculus. 14. Alauda.
Charadrius. 20. Muscicapa.

Most soft-billed birds live on insects, and not on grain and seeds; and therefore at the end of summer they retire: but the following soft-billed birds, though insect-eaters, stay with us the year round:

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A LIST OF THE WINTER BIRDS OF PASSAGE ROUND THIS

NEIGHBOURHOOD, RANGED SOMEWHAT IN THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY APPEAR :

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RAII NOMINA. 4. Royston-crow, Cornix cinerea. Most frequent on downs.

about 5. Woodcock,

s Appears

old Scolopax.

Michaelmas.

Some snipes constantly 6. Snipe, Gallinago minor.

1 breed with us. 7. Jack-snipe, Gallinago minima.

Seldom appears till late ; 8. Wood-pigeon, Oenas.

7 not so plenty as formerly. 9. Wild-swan, Cygnus ferus.

On some large waters. * 10. Wild-goose, Anser ferus.

11. Wild-duck, Anas torquata minor.?
12. Pochard, Anas fera fusca.
13. Widgeon, Penelope.
14. Teal, breeds

}On our lakes and streams.

with

us Louerquedula.

in Wolmer pues

Forest, 15. Cross-beak, Coccothraustes. 16. Cross-bill, Loxia. 17. Silk-tail, Garrulus bohemicus.

These are only wanderers

that appear occasionally, and are not observant of any regular migration.

These birds, as they stand numerically, belong to the following Linnæan genera :1, 2, 3, Turdus.

9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, Anas.
4, Corvus.
5, 6, 7, Scolopax.

15, 16,

Loxia. 8, Columba.

17.

Ampelis.
Birds that sing in the night are but few :-
Nightingale, Luscinia.

s“ In shadiest covert hid.”

-Milton. Woodlark,

Alauda arborea. Suspended in mid air. Less reed-sparrow, {

5 Passer arundinaceus Lin Less reed-sparton,

s | Among reeds and willows. minor.

I should now proceed to such birds as continue to sing after midsummer, but, as they are rather numerous, they would exceed the bounds of this paper; besides, as this is

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