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affectedly also. It moves about with a consequential air, hanging
its head first on one side and then on the other. It then will run some twenty or thirty yards, treading only on the tips of its toes, as if it wore white satin shoes, and were trying to pick its way over a very dirty road. Then it will have a little dance all to itself, and suddenly stand still again quite grave and composed,
as if it had been doing nothing at all. From these habits, cynical naturalists have named in the Demoiselle. It is rather a tall bird, being between three and four feet in height.
THE DEMOISILLE CRAXX.
THE WHITE STORK,
The length of the White Stork is about three feet. The bill is
nearly eight inches long, and of a fine red color. The plumage is wholly white; except the orbits of the eyes, which are bare and blackish: some of the feathers on the side of the back and on the wings are black. The skin, the legs, and the bare part of the thighs, are red.
The · White Storks are semi. domestic birds, haunting towns and cities; and, in many places, stalking unconcernedly about the streets, in search of offal and other food. They remove noxious filth, and clear the fields of serpents and reptiles On this account they are protected in IIolland, and are held in high veneration by the Mahomedans; and so greatly respected were they in
times of old by the Thessalians, that to kill one of these birds was a crime expiable only by death.
Bellonious informs us that “Storks visit Egypt in such abundance, that the fields and meadows are white with them. Yet the Egyptians are not displeased with this sight; as Frogs are there generated in such numbers, that d.d not the Storks devour them, they would over. run every thing. They also catch and eat serpents. Between Belba and Gaza, the fields of Palestine are often rendered desert on account of the abundance of mice and rats; and, were these not destroyed, the inhabitants could have no barvest."
The disposition of the Stork is mild and placid. This bird is easily tamed; and mily by trained to róside in girdens, which it will clear
of insects and reptiles. It has a grave air, and a mournful visage yet, when roused by example, it exhibits a certain degree of gaiety; för it joins in the frolics of children, hopping about and playing with them: “In a garden (says Dr. Hermann) where the children were playing at hide-and-seek, I saw a tame Stork join the party; run its turn when touched; and distinguish the child whose turn it was to pursue the rest, so well, as, along with the others, to be on its guard."
To the Stork the ancients ascribed many of the moral virtues; as temperance, conjugal fidelity, and filial and paternal piety. The manners of this bird are such as were likely to attract peculiar attention. It bestows much time and care on the education of its offspring, and does not leave them till they have strength sufficient for their own support and defence. When they begin to flutter out of the nest, the mother bears them on her wings; she protects them from danger, and will some times perish rather than forsake them. celebrated story is current in Holland, that, when the city of Delft was on fire, a female Stork in vain attempted several times to carry off her young ones; and, finding she was unable to effect their escape, suffered herself to be burned with them.
The following anecdote affords a singular instance of sagacity in this bird :-"A wild Stork was brought by a farmer, who resided near Hamburgh, into his poultry-yard, to be the companion of a tame one that he had long kept there; but the tame Stork, disliking a rival, fell upon the poor stranger, and beat him so unmercifully that he was compelled to take wing, and with some difficulty escaped. About four months afterwards, however, he returned to the poultry. yard, recovered of his wounds, and attended by three other Storks, who no sooner alighted than they all together fell upon the tame Stork and killed him."
Storks are birds of passage, and observe great exactness in the time of their autumnal departure from Europe to more favorite climates. They pass a second summer in Egypt and the marshes of Barbary. In the former country they pair; again lay, and educate a second brood. Before each of their migrations, they rendezvous in amazing numbers. They are for a while much in motion among themselves; and after making several short excursions, as if to try their wings, they suddenly take flight with great silence.
These birds are seldom seen further north than Sweden; and, though they have scarcely ever been found in England, they are so common in Holland as to build on the tops of the houses, where even the inhabitants provide boxes for them to make their nests in. Storks are also common at Aleppo; and are found in great numbers at Seville, in Spain. At Bagdad, hundreds of their nests are seen about the houses, walls, and trees; and at Persepolis, in Persia, the remains of the pillars serve them for nesting places, "every pillar having a nest upon it."
During their migrations Storks are observed in vast flocks. Dr. Shaw saw three flights of them leaving Egypt, and passing over Mount Carmel, each half a mile in width: and he says they were three hours in passing over.
The Chaja, or Crested Screamer, is about the size of a Heron : the bill is short, bent like that of a bird of prey, and of a yellowish brown: the irides are gold-colored; on the forehead, just above the bill, is a tuft of black feathers, variagated with ash-color; the head, neck, and boly are grey, mixed with brown; the wings are furnished with spurs; the legs pretty long, of a dull yellow; the bind toe placed high up, so as not to touch the ground in walking. This species in. habit Brazil. It is said to feed on the same food as the Heron tribe ; and the flesh is good.
THE COMMON HERON.
The Common Heron is about three feet three inches in length.
The bill is six inches long, and of a dusky color. The feathers of the head are long, and form an elegant crest. The neck is white; and on the fore part is marked with a double row of black spots. The general color of the plumage is blue gray; with the greater wing-quills black. The middle of the back is almost bare, and covered by the loose feathers of the scapulars; the feathers of the Deck hang loose over the breast. On each side, under the wing, the feathers are black. The legs are of a dirty green color, and the inner edge of the mid
dle claw is serrated. The female has no crest, and the feathers on the breast are short.
This is an extremely formidable enemy to the scaly tribes. There is, in fresh waters, scarcely a fish, however large, that the Heron will not strike at and wound, though unable to carry it off: but the smaller fry are his chief subsistence; these, pursued by their larger fellows of the deep, are compelled to take refuge in shallow waters
, where they find the Heron a still more formidable enemy. His method is to wade as far as he can go into the water, and there patiently to await the approach of his prey; into which, when it comes within his sight, he darts his bill with inevitable aim. Willughby says he has seen a Heron that had in his stomach no fewer than seventeen Carp. Some gentlemen who kept tame Herous, were desirous of ascertaining what average quantity one of these birds
THI COMMON HEROX,
THE COMMON BERON.
would dovour. They consequently put several small Roach and Dace into a tub; and the Heron, one day with another, ate fifty in a day. Thus a single Heron is able to destroy nine thousand Carp in half a. year.
The Heron, though he usually takes his prey by wading, frequently catches it while on wing; but this is only in shallow waters, where he is able to dart with more certainty than in the deeps; for in this case, though the fish, at the first sight of its enemy, descends, yet the Heron, with its long bill and leys, instantly pins it to the bottom, and thus seizes it securely. In this manner, after having been seen with its neck for above a minute under water, he will rise on wing with a Trout or an Eel struggling in his bill. The greedy bird, however, flies to the shore, swallows it, and returns to his fishing.
Heron-hawking was formerly a fıvorite diversion; and a penalty of twenty shillings was incurred by any person taking the eggs of this bird. Its flesh was also in former times much esteemed, being valued at a rate equal with that of the Pearock.
In their breeling season the llerons unite together in large societies, and build in the highest trees. Sometimes as many as eighty nests have been seen in one tree. The nest is made of sticks, and lined with a few rushes and wool, or with feathers. The eggs are four or five in number, and of a pale.green color.
If taken young, these birds may be tamed; but the old birds, when captured, soon pine away, refusing every kind of nourishment.
The different parts of the body of the Heron are admirably adapted to its mode of life. This bird has long legs, for the purpose of wading; a long neck, answerable to these, to reach its prey in the water; and a wide throat to swallow it. Its toes are long, and armed with strong, hooked talons; one of which is serrated on the edge, the better to retain the fish. The bill is long and sharp, having towards the point serratures, which stand backward; these, after the prey is struck, act like the barbs of a fish-hook, in detaining it till the bird has time to seize it with its claws. Its broad, large, and concave wings, are of great use in enabling it to carry its load to the nest, which is sometimes at a great distance. Dr. Derham tells us, that he has seen lying scattered under the trees of a large heronry, fishes many inches in length, which must have been conveyed by the birds from the distance of several miles; and D' Acre Barret, Esq., the owner of this heronry, saw a large Eel that had been conveyed thither by one of them, notwithstanding the inconvenience that it must have experienced from the fish writhing and twisting about.
The body of the Heron is very small, and always lean; and the skin is said to be scarcely thicker than what is called gold beater's skin. It is probable that this bird is capable of long abstinence; as its usual food, which consists of fish and reptiles, cannot at all times be bad.
THE GREAT HERON.
The Great Heron of America, no where numerous, may be consid
ered as a constant inhabitant of the Atlantic States, from New York to East Florida; in the storms of winter seeking out open springs, muddy marshes, subjected to the overflow of tides, or the sheltered recesses of the cedar and cypress swamps contigu. ous to the sea coast. As a rare or accidental vis. itor, it has been found even as far north as Hud. son's Bay, and commonly passes the breeding season in small
numbers along the coasts of all the New England States, and the adjoining parts of British America. Mr. Say also observed this species at Pem. bino, in the forty-ninth parallel. Ancient natural heronries of this species occur in the deep maritime swamps of North and South Carolina: similar associations for breeding exist also in the lower parts of New Jersey. Their favorite and long frequented resorts are usually dark and enswamped solitudes or boggy lakes, grown up with tall cedars, and entangled with an undergrowth of bushes and Kalmia laurels. These recesses defy the reclaiming hand of cultivation, and present the same gloomy and haggard landscape they did to the aborgines of the forest, who, if they existed, might still pursue through the tangled mazes of these dismal swamps, the retreating bear, and timorous deer. From the bosom of these choked lakes, and arising out of the dark and pitchy bog, may be seen large clumps of the tall Cypress (Cupressus disticha,) like the innumerable connecting columns of the shady mangrove, for sixty or more feet rising without a branch, and their spreading tops, blending together, form a canopy so dense as almost to exclude the light from beneath their branches. In the tops of the tallest of these trees, the wary