An introduction to the Trochilidæ, or family of humming-birds

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author, 1861 - 216 Seiten
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Seite 25 - ... he transfers to her bill the insect and the honey which he has procured with a view to please her ; how these attentions are received with apparent satisfaction; how, soon after, the blissful compact is sealed; how, then, the courage and care of the male are redoubled ; how he even dares to give chase to the Tyrant Fly-catcher, hurries the Blue-Bird and the Martin to their boxes ; and how, on sounding pinions, he joyously returns to the side of his lovely mate. Reader, all these proofs of the...
Seite 26 - Though least in size, the glittering mantle of the Hummingbird entitles it to the first place in the list of the birds of the new world. It may truly be called the Bird of Paradise ; and had it existed in the old world, it would have claimed the title instead of the bird which has now the honour to bear...
Seite 25 - is the person who, on seeing this lovely little creature moving on humming wing-lets through the air, suspended as if by magic in it, flitting from one flower to another with motions as graceful as they are light and airy, pursuing its course over our extensive continent, and yielding new delights wherever it is seen ; — where is the person...
Seite 26 - ... parents; and could you see those parents, full of anxiety and fear, passing and repassing within a few inches of your face, alighting on a twig not more than a yard from your body, waiting the result of your unwelcome visit in a state of the utmost...
Seite 26 - ... old world, it would have claimed the title instead of the bird which has now the honour to bear it : — see it darting through the air almost as quick as thought ! — now it is within a yard of your face ! — in an instant gone ! — now it flutters from flower to flower to sip the silver dew — it is now a ruby — now a topaz — now an emerald — now all burnished gold ! It would be arrogant to pretend to describe this winged gem of nature after Buffon's elegant description of it.
Seite 29 - In the garden were two trees of the kind called the Malay Apple (Eugenia Malaccensis), one of which was but a yard or two from my window. The genial influence of the spring rains had covered them with a profusion of beautiful blossoms, each consisting of a multitude of crimson stamens with very minute petals, like bunches of crimson tassels ; but the leaf-buds were only just beginning to open.
Seite 26 - ... to see the returning hope of the parents, when, after examining the nest, they find their nurslings untouched! You might then judge how pleasing it is to a mother of another kind, to hear the physician who has attended her sick child assure her that the crisis is over, and that her babe is saved. These are the scenes best fitted to enable us to partake of sorrow and joy, and to determine every one who views them to make it his study to contribute to the happiness of others, and to refrain from...
Seite 5 - It might be thought by some persons that four hundred species of birds so diminutive in size, and of one family, could scarcely be distinguished from each other; but any one who studies the subject, will soon perceive that such is not the case. Even the females, which assimilate more closely to each other than the males, can be separated with perfect certainty ; nay, even a tail-feather will be sufficient for a person well versed in the subject to say to what genus and species the bird from which...
Seite 27 - Indeed, there is scarce a flower in the interior, or on the sea-coast, but what receives frequent visits from one or other of the species. On entering the forests, on the rising land in the interior, the blue and green, the smallest brown, no bigger than the...
Seite 29 - They chased each other through the labyrinth of twigs and flowers, till an opportunity occurring, the one would dart with seeming fury upon the other, and then with a loud rustling of their wings, they would twirl together, round and round, until they nearly came to the earth. It was some time before I could see with any distinctness what took place in these tussles : their twirlings were so rapid as to baffle all attempts at discrimination.

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