Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/131

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Bird Life in May.

After the April days, crowded as they were with incident, what shall we say of May? Now indeed spring is in its hey-day and life is at the full. The air is still fresh and cool, filled with the scents of opening leafage. What is there in the very air of a May morning which makes all things young again, some property which is lost all too soon as "the merrie month" gives place to mid-summer? At no time of year is a larger variety of birds with us, for, while the later comers amongst the summer migrants are making their appearance, many waders and wildfowl still linger on shore and estuary before taking their long flight to the north. All birds which breed with us are now nesting; almost all are in full plumage and in best voice. Those which nested early are now busy with a second venture, almost before the first family is off their hands. There are of course exceptions; the members of the crow tribe rear but a single brood, and the same is certainly the case with many pairs of tits. The primary reason why nests seem so much more numerous in hedge and thicket than they did last month is that the summer migrants