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GOLDFINCH.

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CHAFFINCH.

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BULLFINCH.

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gave him to a friend, to whom he eventually transferred his affection. Instances have been known, however, of Bullfinches dying when separated from the person on whom they had bestowed their faithful attachment. They are easily trained to perform amusing feats, to pump up water for their bath, or to draw it up from a ell, etc. The natural song of the Bullfinch is harsh and poor; but, when trained, he is capable of whistling or“piping” airs to perfection. He must be taken from the nest before he has had time to learn his father's song, and can be easily reared on moistened bread and scalded rape-seed; and, as soon as he begins to twitter, he must have constant lessons, on a clarionet or bird-organ, of the airs he is to pipe. These should always be given early in the morning and when the bird is hungry; the air he is to learn, or a portion of it, should be played or whistled over and over to him in the dark, and when he tries to imitate it he must be rewarded with his breakfast and a few hemp-seeds, or other especially favourite food. He should hear no other sound while his lesson is being repeated to him, and it is necessary that it should be repeated exactly in the same time, and without any variation in the tune. If a false note be played, or an imperfect instrument be used, the bird is almost sure to copy the imperfections, in his performances. When once thoroughly learnt, he will be very much displeased if any mistake be made in the repetition of the air, and will stop short, and hiss, and begin it afresh. In Germany there are regular schools for Bullfinches, where the birds are taught in classes for some months, and then each is given into the charge of a boy, whose business it is to be continually repeating the airs the bird has learnt, to him. Some Bullfinches are able only to learn one tune thoroughly; others will acquire two or three quite accurately, but they will generally require to have their memory refreshed by their repetition, when they have been silent awhile during the time of moulting. They are sometimes, like spoilt chil

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dren, capricious about exhibiting their accomplishments, and require a good deal of coaxing before they will pipe. A friend once brought her Bullfinch to display his talents to me; but no persuasions of hers would induce him to pipe till she sent for her servant, who went up to the cage, put his head from side to side, and said, “Come, Bully, whistle," and the bird immediately began bowing and prancing about, and went through his performances without more ado. Good piping Bullfinches are very costly birds; three or four guineas, or even more, are often paid for one.

A Bullfinch seems thrown away in a bird-room or aviary: he looks dull and inactive among the more sprightly birds; moreover he is apt to be quarrelsome and to fight with birds of another kind, and his big beak is capable of inflicting serious injuries. He is a very affectionate mate, and both parents are very fond of their nestlings, who remain with them much longer than is the case with the generality of young birds. In their wild state they are accused of committing sad havoc amongst the fruit trees, by picking off the early buds; and although some people assert that they only do this in search of the maggots in the buds, I am afraid this cannot be maintained, and that it must be allowed that they are guilty of great depredations. They eat also the seeds in the fir-cones, beechmasts, flax-seed, and nettle-seed, and no doubt are partially insectivorous. In confinement they should be fed chiefly on canary and bird-turnip: hemp-seed must be given very sparingly, as a luxury and a reward only: it has a most injurious effect upon them, causing blindness, loss of feathers, blackness of plumage, etc. Two young Bullfinches which I once reared from the nest were given away as soon as they were full grown, and were brought back to me in the course of a few weeks, the most deplorable little objects possible to conceive: they had a few feathers on their heads, and two long tail-feathers, and their little

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