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though not rare, it is somewhat local, and in the British Islands, it appears, is confined exclusively to England and the south of Scotland. Mr. Thompson has included it with hesitation amongst the birds of Ireland; for although the description given to him of certain birds and eggs seemed to apply to this species, it was stated that the nest which contained the eggs was lined with feathers. Now, the Willow Wren invariably makes use of feathers for this purpose, but the Wood Warbler does not. The nest of the latter is composed entirely of dry grass and leaves, occasionally mixed with a little moss; and although I have sometimes found horsehair inside, I do not remember to have seen or heard of an instance in which any feathers were employed. The eggs, five or six in number, are white, closely freckled over with reddish brown. Mr. Blake-Knox, a well-known naturalist, resident in the county of Dublin, says (“Zoologist,” 1866, p. 300), “I tried very hard this year to add the Wood Wren to our Dublin avifauna, and though I killed some dozens of snowy-white-bellied Willow Wrens, they were all the common Sylvia trochilus. That the bird is Irish I am sure, for I have heard it. Should an Irish ornithologist see this, will he try for it, if he should live in a wooded district, such as the counties Wicklow and Wexford 2 I am sure it is neglected for want of a certain dis. tinction.” Since this note was published, the Wood Wren has actually been obtained in Ireland, a specimen having been shot in the county of Fermanagh by Sir Victor Brooke, and preserved by him in June, 1870. Another was obtained the same year at Glen Druid in the county of Dublin, as reported by Mr. BlakeKnox. Both Sir William Jardine and Macgillivray have referred to the Wood Warbler being found northward to the middle districts of Scotland, a circumstance which appears to have been overlooked by Mr. Yarrell, since he says (vol. i. P. 349. 3rd edit.), “I am not aware of any record of its appearance in Scotland.” This
statement, however, has been rectified in the fourth edition of this standard work by Professor Newton, who remarks : “In Scotland it is known to breed regularly in the counties of Dumfries, Wigton, Lanark and Berwick, the Lothians and Perthshire, and occasionally in those of Roxburgh, Selkirk, Renfrew and Stirling.” Mr. A. G. More, in an article “On the Distribution of Birds in Great Britain during the Nesting Season,” published in the “Ibis.” for 1865, observes (p. 26), that the Wood Warbler “in Scotland ranges further north than the Chiff-chaff, having been observed by the Duke of Argyle in Argyleshire and at Balmoral.” According to Mr. Robert Gray, of Glasgow, it has been observed in Inverness and Aberdeenshire, and Mr. Edwards has found it in Banffshire. Beyond the British Islands the Wood Warbler is found throughout Europe, though rare in the north, and it extends eastward to Siberia and southward to Algeria, Egypt and Abyssinia. It arrives in this country generally about the
THE WILLOW WARBLER.
HE Willow Warbler is much more generally distributed than the last-named bird; but it is possible that it is considered commoner from the difference in the haunts of the two species—the Wood Warbler, as already remarked, keeping further away from habitations. As a rule, the Willow Wren arrives in this country about the end of the first week in April—that is to say, before the Wood Warbler, but not so early as the Chiff-chaff, which is the first of the genus to appear. Yarrell speaks of these birds as “having acquired with us the general name of Willow Warblers, or Willow Wrens, from their prevailing green colour;” but Thompson, in his “Birds of Ireland” (i. p. 192), says, “this name was doubtless bestowed upon the bird originally on account of its partiality to willows, which I have frequently remarked, the twigs and branches of the common osier (Salix viminalis) abounding with aphides, being on such occasions its chief favourite.” There is yet another suggestion—i.e., that the name may have been bestowed from the circumstance that these little birds make their appearance just as the willow is budding. It is marvellous how these tiny creatures can sustain the protracted flights which are necessary to transport them from their winter to their summer quarters; and yet that they make these long journeys is well ascertained. On the 23rd of