Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/336

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cling to it patiently while I carry them through any kind of country. When I wish to have them attract other birds I hold them toward a convenient branch and say, "Get off," which they are very willing to do. Then by whistles or cries I attract some bird's attention, and if it proves to be a titmouse, a woodpecker, a thrush, or some other excitable bird, the alarm is given, and from all quarters the neighbors come pouring in to join the tumult. Even while holding Puffy on a stick and walking with him, I have had birds attack him. Once a pair of solitary vireos followed me for some distance, one of them flying between my head and the owl three times, apparently not noticing me any more than though I had been a tree. A similar attack from a sharp-shinned hawk was more surprising than pleasant. Some species are less demonstrative than others, and seem to think silence and retreat wiser than vituperation. Cedar-birds, great crested fly-catchers, and scarlet tanagers are three species which seldom greet Puffy noisily. Game birds, as a rule, are too much afraid of me to remain near the owl, and the same is true of water-fowl. Loons have, however, shown curiosity on discovering Puffy, and sandpipers clearly dislike him. I tested this in an amusing way one day, by taking Puffy out in my boat to a point just to windward of a solitary sandpiper, and then setting him adrift on a small board. At first the sandpiper did not see him, but as the wind carried the placid owl nearer and nearer the beach, the tattler suddenly discerned him, and became stiff with astonishment. He faced the owl, his head poked forward and his body rigid, then with a wild cry he flew, rising from the water and passing over the trees, away from the lake.

Whip-poor-wills are not easy birds to watch at night, but they usually fly toward the owl, uttering excited clucks, and fly several times over it before going away to a distance. A mother nighthawk, with young, showed great courage and sagacity in dealing with Puffy. I placed the owl near her nest. She promptly flew down on the side of the owl away from her young, and fluttered in the grass as though wounded. Puffy hopped toward her. She flew a few feet, he followed, she flew a rod, he followed a third time. She flew three or four rods, and, as he hopped on, she rose and circled around him until, if he had seen her nest in the first place, he never could have remembered in which direction it lay.

The hooting of a barred owl in the daytime, or my imitation of the sound, almost invariably brings birds to the spot. Crows will come a long way in response to the hated call. So will blue jays, and several of the hawks and woodpeckers, hermit and Swainson's thrushes, chickadees, and a few other small birds, including the siskins in winter. Crows, in a particular region, soon learn that a barred owl implies a man in the same thicket, but for the first