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for not only are his feathers closer and wood and mead resound with his shrill, more compact, but he is rounder and merry whistle—whence our country plumper in proportion to his length; and folk have framed to him a name, Bob when well-grown and full-fed, weighs White, from some fancied similarity of from seven to nine ounces, although he sound-cheering his faithful partner rarely attains the maximum.
during the toils of incubation. His bill is strong and horny, the up Afterward, when the bevies are colper mandible considerably arched; and lected, as he runs from the huddle in the whole instrument constituting an which he has passed the night, he saapparatus calculated to break the shells lutes his brethren, perhaps thanks his of the hardest seeds, and even the Creator for the pleasant dawn, with kernels of hips and haws, as well as a the most cheerful noise that can be weapon capable of inflicting severe fancied, a short, quick, happy chirping, wounds on his rivals ; for he is scarcely “and seems to be," to borrow the less pugnacious than the gamecock; words of the inimitable Audubon,-I and is still kept for the same purpose quote from memory alone,—the hapby the Chinese and Malays, as he was piest little creature in the universe." of old by the polished democrats of Unlike the young broods of the woodAthens.
cock, which are mute, save the twitter His eye is large, black, and very with which they rise, the bevies of lively. The back of his head, neck, quail appear to be attached to each shoulders, wing-coverts, and rump, are other by tender affection. If dispersed all beautifully mottled with brown, by accidental causes, either in pursuit black, and chesnut, each feather having of their food, or from being flushed by a yellowish margin, and a dark irregular some casual intruder, so soon as their line, diverging from the point towards first alarm has passed over, they begin the stem. The quills and tail are of a calling to each other with a small plainrich reddish brown, broadly barred tive note, quite different from the amorwith black.
ons whistle of the male bird, and from In the cock-bird, the cheeks and chin their merry day-break cheeping, and, are snow-white, with the exception of each one running toward the sound and a dark streak, running upward from repeating it at intervals, they soon colthe angle of the eyes. In the hen lect themselves together into one happy they are a bright ochreous yellow. The little family, the circle of which rebreast, in both, is white, freckled with mains unbroken, until the next spring, wavy lines of black, something like ar with the genial weather, brings matrirow-heads in shape, pointing down- monial ardors, pairing and courtship, ward toward the vent; the legs are and the hope of future bevies. protected by strong scales, of an olive If, however, the ruthless sportsman brown, and the male bird has rather a have been among them, with his wellformidable spur.
trained setter and unerring gun, so that Otherwise there is no distinction be- death has sorely thinned their numbers, tween the sexes, which are similar in they will protract their little call for size and shape ; except, perhaps, that their lost comrades, even to night-fall; the colors of the hen are somewhat and, in such cases—I know not if it less vivid and distinct than those of the be fancy on my part—there has often male, as is generally the case in the seemed to me to be an unusual degree animal creation.
of melancholy in their wailing whistle. It will be seen at once, from this de Once this struck me especially. I had scription, that our American quail is a found a small bevy of thirteen birds in most beautiful little bird ; but his beau an orchard, close to a house in which I ties do not consist merely in his plu- was passing a portion of the summer, mage, but in his gait, his pretty pert and in a very few minutes killed twelve movements, his great vivacity, his joy- of them, for they lay hard in the tedous attitudes, his constant and cheerfulded clover, and it was perfectly open activity.
shooting. The thirteenth and last bird, He is in all respects the most social, rising with two others, which I killed the merriest, and most amiable, of his right and left, flew but a short distance tribe. During the breeding season, he and dropped among some sumachs in the alone, of the gallinaceous tribe, makes corner of a rail-fence. I could have shot
him certainly enough, but some undefined As soon as he has chosen to himself feeling induced me to call my dogs to a mate, the happy pair retreat to wide, heel and spare his little life; yet, after- open, rushy meadows, where the conwards, I almost regretted what I cer formation of the country affords them tainly intended at the time to be mercy; such retirement, among the tussocks of for day after day, so long as I remained which they love to bask in the soft in the country, I heard his sad call from spring sunshine. Where the land is morn till dewy eve, crying for his de- higher, and is broken into knolls and parted friends, and füll, apparently, of gulleys, you will find them at this seamemory, which is, alas! but too often son on the grassy banks beside some another name for sorrow.
sheltered hedgerow, or along the green The quail is not only the most soci- and shrubby margin of some sequesterable of his tribe in reference to his fel- ed retreat, but never in thick woodlands, lows, but is by far the most tameable and rarely in open fields. and friendly in his disposition as re Most birds, so soon as they have pairgards the general enemy and universal ed, proceed at once to the duties of tyrant-man.
nidification and the rearing of their In the winter season, when the young; it seems to me, however, that ground is so deeply covered with snow the quail spends some time in pairs beas to render it impossible for them to fore proceeding to this task ; for I have obtain their customary food, the seeds, frequently seen them paired so early namely, of the various grasses which as the twentieth of February; yet I they love the most, or the grains which have never found the hen sitting, or a lie scattered in the stubbles, they come nest with eggs in it, during spring snipe naturally into the vicinity of man's shooting, though I have often fushed dwellings, and it is by no means an un the paired birds on the same ground usual sight to perceive them running with the long-billed emigrants. about among the domestic fowls in the I have never, indeed, seen a quail's barn-yard, and flying up, if suddenly nest earlier than the middle of May, disturbed, to perch under the rafters and have often found them sitting so of some barn or out-house, seemingly late as the end of July. fearless and confident in such seasons Their nest is inartificial, made of of protection.
grasses, and situate, for the most part, At this moment, I have a bevy of under the shelter of a stump or 'tusthirteen birds, lying within three or four sock in some wild meadow, or near the hundred yards of the room in which I bushy margin of some clover-field or sit writing, under the shelter of a rough orchard. The hen lays from ten to wooded bank, whereon I have been two-and-twenty eggs; and is relieved at feeding them with buck-wheat since times, in batching them, by the male the heavy snows have fallen, and they bird ; who constantly keeps guard have now become so tame that they around her, now sitting on the bough of will allow me to approach within 20 the nearest tree, now perched on the paces of the spot where they are fed— top rail of a snake fence, making the running about and picking up the tri- woods and hills resound with his loud angular seeds, perfectly unconcerned and cheery whistle. at my presence. As soon, however, as The period of the quail's incubation the spring shall have commenced, and I do not know correctly ; the young the hevy separated themselves into birds run the moment they burst from pairs, their wild habits will return upon the egg; and it is not uncommon to see nem and I shall see no more of ing them tripping about with pieces of the little friends, until I meet them next shell adhering to their backs. autumn in the brown stubble-field, no The first brood hatched, and fairly longer in the light of a protector. on foot, the hen proceeds at once to the
The quail pairs early in the month of preparation of a second nest; and comFebruary, if the winter have been a mild mitting the care of the early youngone, and the ground at that period is lings to her mate, or rather dividing free from its snowy winter covering ; with him the duties of rearing the first if, on the contrary, the spring be late and hatching the second brood, she deand backward, his courtship is deferred votes herself incessantly to her materuntil March--sometimes even so late as pal duties. to the beginning of April.
So far as I can ascertain, the quail
almost invariably raises a second, and ble has succeeded to the leaf-carpet of sometimes, I believe, a third brood, in the dim and steamy wilderness. a single season. Hence, if unmolested, But a few years ago, the woodcock they increase with extraordinary rapid- was found in Maine, only in the vicinity ity, when the seasons are propitious; of Portland and the oldest settlements; and hence you frequently find young he is now killed abundantly, in the inbirds, in two or three stages of matu- tervales, as they are called in that rerity, in a single bevy, and under the gion, on the Kennebeck, and is extendprotection of a single brace of parents, ing himself slowly but surely eastward,
The quail cannot endure severe cold as the forest recedes before the lumberweather, hence he is never found far to He is, however, still a rare bird the eastward of Boston; I have never on the waters of the Penobscot, though heard of his being found at all in the there are ranges of swampy coverts, States of Maine and New-Hampshire; miles and miles in length, of that very and can assert of my own knowledge: soil and nature which he loves the best; that, in the former state, he does not and though I have never seen lying or exist, if elsewhere, east of the river feeding-grounds in New-Jersey supeKennebeck. In Lower Canada. he is rior to the oak-islands, above Indian unknown; and it is only within a few Oldtown, upon the beautiful river I have years that he has become abundant, and mentioned. à continual resident in the upper prov Five years have passed, however, inces, along the northern shores of the since I shot in those regions, and found Niagara and of Lake Erie.
it hard work to bag a couple or two of I cannot; however, satisfy myself en- cock on ground which here would have tirely that this is the effect of climate, yielded forty or fifty, birds; and I as it may be the consequence of culti- should not be surprised to learn that in vation, on the skirts of which only is the interim, they have become plentiful the quail found with one exception, in those . very woods. : That it is not the great prairies of the west, which climate which influences the woodcock, whether natural meadows, or, as some is evident from the fact, that they have persons believe, the remnants of abo- abounded for many years in the vicinity riginal civilization--present to the quail of Windsor and Annapolis, in Newall the comforts which he derives from Brunswick, where the climate is much cultivation and the vicinity of man's colder; but the reign of cultivation dwellings-grass-seeds, I mean, and more widely extended, because far open sunshine.
older, than in the eastern parts of In the forest, the quail is never found, Mainę. unless when that forest is girded about It may then, in some measure, be with settlements, and interspersed with attributed to the same cause, namely, partial clearances and buckwheat or the prevalence of unbroken wildercorn-fields, when he will ramble away ness, and the absence of large grain during the heat of summer noontide fields, that the quail is not found in our into the cool, green retreats of moun easternmost states ; and if it be true, tain woodlands.
as Latham states, that the quail is I have never seen, nor have I heard found in New-Brunswick and Nova of a nest placed in a wood; and, were Scotia, this might be assumed, and not it not for the prairies, which I suppose climate, as the established cause of his to have been their haunt and feeding- aversion to the northeastern country. ground for ages, I should be at a loss But I believe it is not true; for, of to conceive where either the quail or many good and staunch sportsmen, with the woodcock existed, when all the sea whom I am, acquainted at St. John, board of America, and, for leagues upon and elsewhere in the British Provinces, leagues inward, the whole face of the I have found none who have shot this country was covered with primeval wil- bird therein. derness, since neither of the birds, as I I have said above, that the quail, in have before stated, are ever found in the propitious seasons, increases with exwild forest, and both make their ap- traordinary rapidity ; I will now add, pearance almost immediately when sun that in unfavorable years, he often shine is let into those deep solitudes by comes to the very verge of extinction. the settler's axe, and the brown stub Long severe snows, when the coun
try is buried many feet deep, and he ther in those and the preceding months can procure no sustenance, save from which addles the eggs and destroys the the precarious charity of wan, famishes early bevy. This is, however, but a him outright-heavy drifts, especially partial evil, as the quail rears a second when succeeded by a partial thaw, and brood, and, as I have before observed a frost following the thaw, stifle him sometimes a third ; so that in this case in whole bevies, encased in icy prison- the number of birds for the season is houses.
diminished without the tribe being enIt is the peculiar habit of this bird to ,dangered. Jie still, squatted in concentric huddles, The open winters which have preas they are technically called, com vailed latterly have been exceedingly posed of the whole bevy, seated like the favorable to the increase of this beautiradii of a circle, with their tails inward, ful and prolific little bird. Never, perso long as snow, sleet, or rain, con- haps, have they been more abundant tinues to fall. So soon as it clears off, than they were last autumn; and though and the sun shines out, with a simultane- there has been more than an average ous effort, probably at a preconcerted' of snow thus far during the present signal, they all spring up at once, with an winter, it has not been heavily drifted impetus and rush so powerful, as car for the most part; it has not laid on ries them clear through a snow-drift the ground many consecutive days, and many feet in depth ; unless it be skim- it has not, hitherto, been crusted once. med over by a frozen crust, which is The sun is now beginning to gain not to be penetrated by their utmost considerable power; the season is raefforts. In this latter case, when the pidly advancing toward spring, and, storm has been general over a large ex- with a little care in feeding and preservtent of country, the quails are not unfre- ing the birds from poachers and trapquently reduced so nearly to extinction, pers, we have every prospect of yet a that but a bevy or two will be seen for larger supply next autumn. years, on ground where previously they In my next paper—for I feel that I have be found in abundance; and at am already running somewhat out of such time, if they be not spared and bounds—I shall point out where, in my cherished, as they will be by all true opinion, the present laws for their prosportsmen, they may be destroyed en tection are inoperative and inadequate, tirely throughout a whole region. and how they may be simplified and
This was the case especially through amended; I shall touch upon that all this section of the country, in the much-disputed point — their domestic tremendous winter of 1835-36, when and internal migrations, in relation to these birds which had been, previously, which I have collected some curious very abundant, were almost annihilat- facts, which are not, I believe, geneed, and would have been so, doubtless, rally known, and which may prove inbut for the anxiety which was felt gene- teresting; and, lastly, I shall dwell at rally, and the energetic means which length on the best method of quailwere taken to preserve them.
shooting, with the results of some days' Another peril
, which, at times, de- sport, from Connecticut so far southcimates the breed for a season, is a sud- ward as Maryland, which is the southden and violent land-flood, in June and ernmost limit of my sporting experience July, which drowns the young birds, in the United States. or a continuance of cold showery wea The Cedars, January, 1846.
SOME REFLECTIONS OF A FREE-TRADEP.
The system of revenue based upon These general views will not be conimport duties seems too firmly esta- tradicted, but they are looked upon as blished to be shaken, and, therefore, in abstractions, having little to do with the consideration of this subject, we the state of affairs on this planet. Let shall assume that this mode of indirect us then bring our hypothesis into more taxation will be, and ought to be the practical limits. great financial resource of the federal Let us, for the sake of simplicity, government. Yet the babitual asso separate from the list of nations two ciation, in the mind, of revenue and ta- leading commercial countries, such as rif leads to a certain degree of confu- England and America, and contemplate sion, which we ought to dispel at the their relations to each other only. Let outset, by remembering that they have us assume that a system of free trade no natural connection. A tariff is only has hitherto prevailed between them, one mode out of many of collecting a until England, instigated, perhaps, by revenue, and it will greatly assist our jealousy, and a noisy, patriotic, delusive investigation if, for the present, we desire to be independent-or for some place the question of revenue quite out other cause not necessary to be knownof sight, as if that were not needed, or concludes to abandon, to some extent, were otherwise supplied. This leaves the principles of freedom, and to imus free to consider the operation of du- pose duties on the imports coming ties apart from their object, and to in- from this country. The consequence quire whether, in themselves they are is, of course, a diminution of traffic and useful, and if not, why, and how far its proceeds. We, harmed and stung they are prejudicial.
by the movement, begin to inquire what Let us suppose, as a starting point, we shall do. " Why," says some inthat there is not a single duty or other genious empiric, " let us, also, lay a restriction upon traffic in the whole tariff and retaliate ; let us protect ourworld, but an universal and absolute selves, and keep her out of our ports as free trade, entirely untrammelled, and she drives us from hers. Thus shall left to the wants and caprices of every we neutralize the harm done, bring her body. It is plain, that, under these to terms, protect home industry, and be circumstances, there would soon take independent of foreign labor." But place, on every side, a mutually bene- stay a moment; let us consider this ficial exchange of commodities; that theory of protective duties and reciprolabor would everywhere be applied in cal tariffs, and not be carried away sudthe most productive manner; and that denly by plausibilities. Will the reader the aggregate of wealth would increase indulge our argument with his careful with greater rapidity than upon any attention ? other conditions. The advantages of If an import duty is laid upon somefree trade, on a large scale, are com- thing which cannot be produced at pletely illustrated by those on a small home, the evident consequence will be
If the traffic of a country, or to raise its price and diminish its constate, is most profitable when free, so sumption. If laid upon something is that of a continent, or the world. which can be produced at home, but For they are both made up of indivi- only at a greater cost than the imported dual transactions, differing only in article, the duty will not begin to opernumber and magnitude. All trade is ate as a protection until it exceeds, or only exchange; its theory is mutual at least equals, the difference between benefit, its inducement mutual wants, the cost of the imported and the home and it is guarded on both sides by mu- production. When it goes beyond this tual cupidity. This is true of great difference, all the excess is so much trades, as well as small ones, and of protection. When it becomes so great exchanges made across an ocean as that there is no longer any inducement well as across a counter.
to import, and the demand bas fallen