… did not steal the nests and the food of Bluebirds, Wood-peckers, Swallows, and others that are prettier and more useful birds, as well as far better singers than he is.
But there is much to admire in the Sparrow. I do not know of any bird that is braver, or more ready to find a way out of trouble; and if he cannot find a way, he cheerfully makes the best of it.
Some years ago I was at Duluth during a bitterly cold spell of weather. The thermometer registered 20° or 30° below zero, and the blizzard wind was blowing. Oh my, it was cold. But out in the street were dozens of English Sparrows chirruping and feeding; thriving just as they do in warmer lands and in fine weather.
When black night came down, colder yet, I wondered what the little stout-hearts would do. Crawl into some hole or bird-house, maybe? or dive into a snowdrift? as many native birds do.
I found out; and the answer was most unexpected.
In front of the hotel was a long row of electric lights. At nine o’clock, when I chanced to open the window for a breath of air, my eye fell on these; on every bulb was an English Sparrow sound asleep with the overarching reflector to turn the storm, and the electric bulb below him to warm his toes. My hat is off. Our Department of Agriculture may declare war on the Sparrow; but what is the use? Don’t you think that a creature who is not afraid of blizzard or darkness, and knows how to use electric Ughts, is going to win its life-battle, and that he surely is here to stay?
Tracks, and the Stories They Tell
Sometimes, in town, just after rain, when the gutters are wet, and the pavement dry, look for the tracts of some ..text continues