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The Bullfinch
Look at the bright colours of this beautiful little bird: y...

The Flamingo
Is not this a beautiful bird, though rather singular in its...

The Swan
You are no doubt well acquainted with this beautiful bird, ...

The Kestrel
This picture represents the kestrel, one of the smallest an...

The Albatross
This is the largest of all sea-birds, and you are not very ...

The Eagle
The Eagle is often called the King of Birds, and therefore ...

The Duck
There is so much that is interesting to tell you about the ...

The Vulture
This strange looking bird is also a bird of prey; but it fe...

The Robin Redbreast
Every little boy and girl well knows this pretty little bir...

The Quail
The quail is the smallest of the poultry tribe, and is a pr...


Least Viewed

[illustration: The Goose]
Amongst the Romans this bird was held sacred to Juno, their s...

The Pheasant
This beautiful bird comes originally from the East, and tak...

The Magpie
The Magpie is a very pretty and cunning bird. It is easy to...

The Lapwing
This little bird which is often called the Pewit, from its ...

The Goose
Have you not often heard people say "as silly as a goose"? ...

The Owl
This solemn looking bird is seldom to be seen by day. It is...

The Quail
The quail is the smallest of the poultry tribe, and is a pr...

The Robin Redbreast
Every little boy and girl well knows this pretty little bir...

The Vulture
This strange looking bird is also a bird of prey; but it fe...

The Duck
There is so much that is interesting to tell you about the ...



The Lapwing








This little bird which is often called the Pewit, from its uttering
frequently a cry resembling the sound of this word, builds its nest or
rather lays its eggs, for it builds no regular nest, amongst long grass
or heather on open downs. If any one goes near the nest, the watchful
mother, who knows herself too weak to defend her young, tries by all
manner of artful contrivances to draw away the stranger's attention. She
will hover close to his ear screaming, or else flutter along the ground
as if wounded and unable to fly. And when by this means she has drawn
aside the feet of the passer-by to some distance, she will suddenly rise
in the air and return to her nest. The eggs of this bird are eagerly
sought after as an article of food, so she is naturally driven to try
her utmost to secure her nest from intruders. In Scotland formerly the
Lapwing was very abundant, and there exists a curious old act of the
Scotch parliament passed before England and Scotland were as friendly as
they are now, encouraging the destruction of the Lapwing "as an
ungrateful bird, which came to Scotland to breed, and then returned to
England to feed the enemy." Worms are their favourite food, but being
unable to pierce the ground with their weak, short beaks they are
ingenious enough to have recourse to the expedient of tapping on the
earth with their bills. The earth-worm, who is very sensitive of danger,
comes up in alarm from his quaking habitation, and is instantly pounced
upon by the attentive lapwing.

This bird is easily tamed, and I will conclude with an account of one
kept by a clergyman, that is related by Professor Rennie. "It lived
chiefly on insects, but, as the winter drew on these failed, and
necessity compelled the poor bird to approach the house, from which it
had previously remained at a distance, and a servant, hearing its feeble
cry, as if it were asking charity, opened for it the door of the back
kitchen. It did not venture far at first, but it became daily more
familiar and emboldened as the cold increased, till at length it
actually entered the kitchen, though already occupied by a dog and a
cat. By degrees it at length came to so good an understanding with these
animals, that it entered regularly at nightfall, and established itself
at the chimney corner, where it remained snugly beside them for the
night; but as soon as the warmth of spring returned, it preferred
roosting in the garden, though it resumed its place at the chimney
corner the ensuing winter. Instead of being afraid of its two old
acquaintances, the dog and cat, it now treated them as inferiors, and
arrogated to itself the place which it had previously obtained by
solicitation. This interesting pet was at last choked by a bone which it
had swallowed."

When its eggs are laid, the pewit will fight fiercely with any other of
its species which comes too near it. Mr. P. John saw one attack a
wounded bird which came near his nest. "The pugnacious little fellow ran
up to the intruder, and, taking advantage of his weakness, jumped on
him, trampling upon him, and pecking at his head, and then dragging him
along the ground as fiercely as a game-cock."






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