Obrazy na stronie

are very fond of oats and grass-seed in the ear. I always put water into the cage in which I kept mine, but they did not drink much, and I never saw them bathe. They delighted in being let out of their cage, and would run along the green bars of the Venetian blinds, warbling and chirping to each other all the time; but when once allowed their liberty, they were very loth to return to their confined quarters, and were so crafty, that if constrained by hunger to go into the cage for a minute, they would pop out of it again before any one could shut them in. These birds frequently breed in England in December or January. They do not build a nest, but lay their four eggs in a piece of wood with a hole in the centre, which they will hollow out till deep enough, or in a cocoa-nut prepared for the purpose. They like to go through a hole to their resting-place, and to be as retired as possible, therefore I should doubt the wisdom of taking away the first eggs and substituting false ones till the four are laid. The reason given for this practice is, that the hen lays every other day only, so that the young would be some days apart in hatching. She sits seventeen days, and feeds her young, I believe, as Pigeons do, disgorging the food into their mouths. Budgerigars should have a cage four feet long, and twenty inches in height and width. I put mine into my Canaries' large winter cage for a time, and they agreed very well with them, or rather, they never attempted to interfere with them. I have heard of a Grass Parrakeet, however, that was put into a cage with a Canary, and fell upon it and killed it instantly. Groundsel is said to be good for these birds, and lettuce injurious. Mine never touched either, but occasionally ate some bread soaked in milk, with maw-seed sprinkled over it; and this is, I believe, often given to sickly birds with good effect.

These Parrakeets are often called the Australian Love Birds, and are consequently confounded with the true Love

Birds, which are very different: little round birds, with the shortest of fan-shaped tails. The common BRAZILIAN LOVE BIRD (Psittacula passerina) is grass-green, with the under-side of the wings blue, and a patch of blue on the back. The AFRICAN LOVE BIRD (Agapornis pullaria) is somewhat larger, has the bill, forehead, cheeks, and throat red; and a red tail, barred with black, and tipped with green. There are many other species; they all live upon canary-seed, and do not require a large cage. They are never happy apart, and sit as close as possible together, continually fondling and caressing each other.


These are pretty, gentle, quiet birds, and easily tamed. They are very affectionate, and should never be kept in solitary confinement, for they are unhappy without their mates, unless they become extremely attached to their owners. The only species commonly kept in the house are the Turtle Dove and the Collared Turtle, which require warmth at night, but abundance of air during the day. They will very soon become tame enough to follow their owner about the garden without attempting to fly away. They should have a wicker cage, and be taught to return to it at night. They wash and bathe a good deal, and require plenty of gravel and old mortar on the floor of their cage, and should have bay salt mixed with their food, as they are subject to diseased throats, for which this is a remedy. They feed principally on corn, pease, and vetches, and will also eat hemp, canary, and millet-seed, bread, firseeds, and berries. Both the Turtle and Collared Turtle breed readily in confinement, and feed their young from their crops as Pigeons do.


I feel some hesitation in writing on this subject, because I have no personal experience of any of the plans proposed for Aviaries; and so many of the ornamental buildings for which designs are given are constructed after a fashion which is extremely picturesque, but not in the least adapted to the wants and comforts of the birds within them. Making the latter the chief consideration, I should suggest that an outdoor aviary built of wood must necessarily be hot in summer and cold in winter, and that it would be preferable built of brick, stone, or rubble, and with an open roof thatched; in fact, a little thatched cottage, whitewashed within and painted or plastered without. This might be either circular, with the front wired and glazed, about fourteen feet in diameter; or a more perfect one might be obtained by making the building eighteen feet by twelve, and twelve feet high, with a bay window occupying the front, looking south, the panes of which should be made to open outwards, to allow of the galvanized iron wire netting, with which the glass must be lined throughout. Either concrete, brick, or tile flooring would be needed to keep out vermin, and this should be covered three or four inches thick with sand and gravel mixed with a little old mortar. The roof should be thickly thatched, and the open rafters will form most comfortable roosting-places for the birds. On one side of the aviary should be a deep porch with a double door, the outer one of wood and the inner one of wire. If this porch were furnished with seats, the birds could be observed with the utmost ease. A fountain playing in the centre of the aviary, with a shallow basin round it for the birds to drink at and bathe in, would add to the beauty of the scene and to the birds' pleasure. If plants were not admitted into it, there must be upright poles with perches nailed on to them in the four corners of the room; but a

better plan would be to have evergreens in pots all round the room, which should be removed and replaced by others when defaced by the birds. A couple of orange and myrtle trees in tubs placed in it during the summer would delight them; fir trees are the best evergreens. Any shrubs that would be injurious to them must of course be avoided. Boxes of mignionette, chickweed, and groundsel placed on the window-sill would be a great acquisition to the birds; but a constant succession of these plants would be necessary, as they very soon strip them of every flower and leaf. Seed-hoppers and pans for food and glasses for water should be hung up round the room, and hanging baskets and swings might be introduced. The windows should be furnished with blinds and shutters, to be drawn down and put up as the weather demanded. If this aviary could be warmed during the winter, the warblers and other delicate birds might be its inmates throughout the year; if not, only the hardy seed-eating birds could remain in it; the others must be removed to a winter cage or aviary in the house, kept at a certain temperature. Stoves placed in the aviary would be injurious to the birds: the heated pipes give out so much carbon as to affect their delicate lungs; but it might perhaps be warmed by the apparatus used for conservatories.

A conservatory devoted to birds would be a very delightful abode for them; but of course it must be wired within the glass, and means must be taken to shade the birds from the fierce summer sunshine. A portion of a conservatory opening into the house is sometimes wired off, and this forms a very pretty aviary, and the birds look exceedingly well with flowers all about them. I have seen a small room between two well-warmed sitting-rooms used as an indoor aviary; this was only about twelve feet by eight, with a French window, or rather door, opening outwards, and a wire grating within it, a fountain in the centre, and the walls were boarded and furnished with

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