C. A. (Charles Alexander) Johns.

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under the bank.

Early in spring, when Dabchicks leave the small streams and
watercourses for broader pieces of water, they have been observed to
fly; and during the building season also they have been seen circling
round in the air near the locality of their intended nest. The nest
itself is constructed of weeds of all kinds, forming a thick mass
raised but a few inches above the surface of the water, and invariably
far enough from the bank to be inaccessible except by wading. The
Dabchick lays five or six long-shaped eggs, pointed at either end, of
a chalky white colour. These the bird, when she leaves the nest,
covers with weeds for the purpose of concealment, and on her return
continues the work of incubation without removing the covering, so
that the eggs soon lose their white hue, and before the period of
hatching have become very dirty. The young birds can swim and dive
immediately on leaving the egg. I have never myself seen a Dabchick
fly through the air or walk on land, neither have I ever heard its
note. The latter, a low clicking and chattering sort of noise, it is
said to utter in spring. It breeds even in St. James' Park. Females
smaller than males.




Head, neck, under plumage, and tail, white; wings bluish ash,
the primaries brownish grey; beak, irides, and feet, yellow.
_Young of the year_ grey tinged with brown, mottled on the back
with deeper brown; bill and feet yellowish ash. Length nineteen
inches. Eggs white.

In some of the Outer Hebrides Fulmars breed; but the great station,
to which tens of thousands annually resort, is the remote island of
St. Kilda. To the Fulmar indeed, and in a less degree to the Gannet
and two or three other sea-birds, the island is indebted for its being
able to boast of human inhabitants. Eggs and birds, fresh or salted,
furnish them with food; the Fulmar with oil: and feathers pay their
rent. In the Shetlands it is said to be increasing.

Professor James Wilson says: 'The oil is extracted from both the young
and old birds, which, however, they must seize on suddenly and
strangle, else, as a defensive movement, the desired (and pungent) oil
is immediately squirted in the face and eyes of their opponent.' This
oil is ejected, not, as it is sometimes said, through tubular
nostrils, but directly through the throat and open mouth. The flesh of
the Fulmar is also a favourite food with the St. Kildans, who like it
all the better on account of its oily nature.

The Fulmar is essentially a sea-bird, and never comes to land except
in the breeding season, when it builds its nest of herbage on the
grassy shelves of the highest cliffs, and lays a single egg, if which
be taken, it lays no more. The young birds are fed with oil by the
parents, and on being molested spurt out through the throat and open
mouth the same fluid, which, being of a rank smell, infects not only
the nest, but the whole neighbourhood. The young birds, which are
taken early in August, are boiled, and made to furnish a large
quantity of fat, which is skimmed off and preserved for winter use.
The old birds are considered great dainties.

In the Arctic regions the Fulmar is well known for its assiduity in
attending on whale ships, keeping an eager watch for anything thrown
over; and when the operation of cutting up a whale is going on,
helping itself most greedily to stray pieces of offal, and venturing
so near as to be easily knocked down by a boathook or to be taken by

Owing to the rankness of its food, the smell of the Fulmar is very
offensive. A specimen recently shot was brought to me in Norfolk,
early in January, 1862, and being a great rarity, was carefully
preserved and set up; but on being sent home from the bird-stuffer's
it was banished to an outhouse, where it has remained for three months
without losing anything of its offensive odour.


Bill two inches long; tail pointed; upper plumage dusky; under,
deep ash grey. Length eighteen inches.

The Great Shearwater is far less abundant than the preceding species,
and may indeed be considered a rarity. A few solitary specimens have
from time to time been shot on various parts of the coast, and they
have occasionally been noticed in considerable numbers off the coast
of Cornwall. In the Scilly Islands, where they are called 'Hackbolts',
they are said to be yet more frequent. The Great Shearwater differs
little in habits, as far as they are known, from the other species.


Bill an inch and a half long; tail rounded; upper plumage
brownish black lustrous; under white; sides of the neck barred
with grey; sides spotted with grey. Length fourteen inches.
Eggs nearly round; pure white.

That a bird whose generic name is _Puffinus_ should sometimes be
called a 'Puffin' is not surprising; and the reader who meets with the
name in books should satisfy himself whether the subject of his study
be an Auk or a Shearwater, before he admits as facts any statements
about the 'Puffin' which may fall in his way. Yarrell, for instance,
gives the name of Puffin to the bird already described under the name
of _Fratercula Arctica_, while by Montagu that bird is described under
the name of 'Coulterneb', 'Puffin' being given as a synonym for the
Shearwater. Off Cornwall it is called _skiddeu_ and _brew_.

The Shearwater is so called from its mode of flight, in which it
'shears' or skims the water; and its distinctive name, Manx, it owes
to its having been formerly very abundant in the Calf[60] of Man, a
small island lying south of the Isle of Man.

The Manx Shearwater is, during the greater portion of the year, an
ocean-bird, and only ventures on shore during the breeding season. It
then repairs to some island, or portion of the coast little frequented
by man, and in society with other birds of the same species there
takes up its summer quarters. A sandy or light earthy soil, scantily
furnished with vegetation, is preferred to any other station. Its nest
is a hole in the ground, either the deserted burrow of a rabbit or a
tunnel excavated by itself, or less frequently it lays its one egg in
the crevice of a rock. During the day Shearwaters, for the most part,
remain concealed in their holes, and lie so close that they will
suffer themselves to be dug out with a spade and make no attempt to
escape. Towards evening they quit their hiding-places, and paddle or
fly out to sea in quest of food. This consists of small fish and other
marine animals which swim near the surface, and are caught by the
birds either while they are floating or 'shearing' the water. No nest
ever contains more than one egg, but that one and the chick which it
produces are objects of the greatest solicitude.

Unfortunately for the poor Shearwaters, their young, though fed on
half-digested fish oil, are delicate eating; consequently, some of the
stations of these birds have been quite depopulated, and in others
their numbers have been greatly thinned.

Willughby tells us that in his time 'Puffins' were very numerous in
the Calf of Man, and that fully fledged young birds, taken from the
nests, were sold at the rate of ninepence a dozen. He adds, that in
order to keep an accurate reckoning of the number taken, it was
customary to cut off, and retain, one of each bird's legs. The
consequence was that the state in which the birds were sent to market
was supposed to be their natural condition, and the Puffin was
popularly believed to be a 'monopod' (one-footed bird).

This station is now nearly, if not quite, deserted; but colonies still
exist in Annet, one of the Scilly Islands, on the south coast of
Wales, in the Orkneys, and in the Shetlands. In the Scilly Islands the
Shearwater is called a Crew, from the harsh note uttered by the bird
when its burrow is invaded; in the north, a Lyrie or Scrabe.

[60] 'Calf', on many parts of the coast, is a name given to the
smaller of two rocks in proximity, of which the larger is
called the 'Cow'.


General plumage like the last; tail even at the extremity; legs
moderate; membranes black. Length scarcely six inches. Eggs

Under the name of 'Mother Carey's Chickens' the Petrels must be known
to all readers of voyages. According to the belief popular in the
forecastle, these birds are invisible during calm or bright weather;
but when the sky lowers, and a storm is impending, suddenly, no one
knows whence, forth come these ill-omened heralds of the tempest,
inspiring more terror than would be caused even by the hurricane which
they are supposed to commence. In reality, the Petrels are scarcely
birds of the day; they love to hide themselves in holes and behind
stones. It is not, therefore, surprising that when the sea is calm,
and the sun bright, they lurk in their hiding-places, if near enough
to land; or, if on the open ocean, lie asleep on the surface of the
water, unnoticed, because still and of small size. An overcast sky,
however, awakes them as twilight would, and they leave their
hiding-places, or rise from their watery bed, not because a storm is
impending, but because the cloud which accompanies the storm brings
them the desired gloom. When in motion they are more conspicuous than
when at rest, and they follow the wake of a ship for the same reason
that other sea-fowl do, for the sake of the offal thrown overboard.
They will sometimes accompany a ship for days, showing that they have
untiring power of wing, and to all but the superstitious greatly
relieving the monotony of the voyage.

The Petrel builds its nest, a rude structure of weeds and rubbish,
either in the hole of a cliff or under stones on the beach, and lays a
single egg. It rarely comes abroad by day, and if disturbed ejects
from its mouth an oily matter, after the manner of the Fulmar. Towards
evening it comes forth from its stronghold, and skims the sea in quest
of food, which consists of floating animal matter of all kinds. Its
name, Petrel, or Little Peter, is derived from its habit of
occasionally skimming along so close to the surface of the sea as to
dip its feet in the water, and present the appearance of walking; but
its ordinary flight is very like that of the Swallow.

The Storm-Petrel breeds in the Orkney, Shetland, and Scilly Islands
and a few on the Welsh coast, also in the Channel Islands, but a
genuine ocean-bird quits the land as soon as its young are able to
accompany it. It is frequently seen in the Atlantic and Mediterranean,
and is not an uncommon visitor to our shores, especially during severe

Its note is only heard during the season of incubation, when its
retreat is often betrayed by a low twittering.

Storm-Petrels are gregarious birds; they breed in colonies, and skim
the sea in small flocks. The French steamers which sail between Toulon
and Algiers are said to be regularly accompanied by these birds.


General plumage like the last; tail forked; legs moderate;
membrane dusky Length seven and a quarter inches. Eggs white,
marked with small rusty spots.

The Fork-Tailed Petrel, a native of North America, does not differ
materially in habits from the other species. It is met with almost
annually on our east coast, and is common off Cornwall. In Ireland it
is frequent. This species was first declared to be a British bird by
Bullock, who found it at St. Kilda in 1818.


[M]: male [F]: female

Aberdeen Sandpiper: a name for the Knot
Aberdevine: a name for the Siskin
Accentor, Hedge: Sparrow, Chanter or Warbler
Alk: the Razor-bill
Allamotte: the Petrel
Allan: the Skua
Alp: a name for the Bullfinch
Annet: the Kittiwake Gull
Arctic-bird: the Skua
Arctic Skua
" Tern
Assilag: the Petrel
Awl: the Woodpecker

Badock: the Skua
Bankjug: the Chiff-chaff and Willow Warbler
Bargander: the Sheldrake
Barley-bird: the Siskin and Wryneck
Barred or Lesser-spotted Woodpecker
Bar-tailed Godwit
Basal: at or near the base
Beam-bird: the Spotted Flycatcher
Bean Crake: the Land-Rail
" Goose
Bearded Reedling
Bee-bird: a name sometimes given to the Flycatcher;
sometimes to the Willow Warbler
" -eater
" -hawk: the Honey Buzzard
Beech-finch: the Chaffinch
Bergander: the Sheldrake
Bernicle Goose
Billy: the Hedge Sparrow
Billy-whitethroat: the Whitethroat
Black-a-top: the Stonechat
Black-billed Auk: a name given to the Razor-bill in the winter plumage
of the first year
Blackcap: a name sometimes given to the Black-headed Gull, the Marsh
Tit, and Coal Tit
Black Duck: the Scoter
Blacky-top: the Stonechat
Bloodulf: the Bullfinch
Blind Dorbie: the Purple Sandpiper
Blue-backed Falcon: the Peregrine Falcon
" -bird: the Fieldfare
" -cap: the Blue Tit
" Darr: the Black Tern
" Hawk: the Peregrine Falcon
" -headed Wagtail: the grey-headed Wagtail
" -tailed Bee-eater
" Tit: the Tom Tit, the Blue-cap
" -winged Shoveler: the Shoveler
Boatswain: the Skua
Brake-hopper: the Grasshopper Warbler
Brambling, or Bramble-finch
Bran: the Crow
Brancher: the Goldfinch in its first year
Brantail: the Redstart
Brent Goose
Broad-bill: the Shoveler
Bronzie: the Cormorant
Brook Ouzel: a name given to the Dipper, and incorrectly to the
Brown Owl, or Tawny Owl
" -Leader Gull: Black-headed Gull, Red-headed Gull or Hooded Gull
" Starling: a name sometimes given to the young of the Starling
" Tern: the Tern in its immature plumage
Budfinch: the Bullfinch
Bullfinch, Common
" Pine, or Pine Grosbeak
Bunting, Lapland, or Finch
Burgomaster: the Glaucous Gull
Burrow Duck: the Sheldrake
Bustard, Great

Cackareer: the Kittiwake Gull
Caddaw: the Jackdaw
Calloo: the Long-tailed Duck
Cargoose: the Crested Grebe
Carinate: in the form of a keel
Carrion Crow
Car-swallow: the Black Tern
Cere: the wax-like membrane which covers the base of the bill in the
Chaldrick or Chalder: the Oyster-catcher
Chanchider: the Spotted Flycatcher
Channel Goose: the Gannet
Chanter, Hedge: Sparrow, Accentor or Warbler
Charlie Miftie: the Wheatear
Chank, and Chank-daw: the Chough
Chepster: the Starling
Cherry-finch: the Hawfinch
Cherry-sucker, Cherry-chopper, and Cherry-Snipe: the Spotted
Chevy Lin: the Redpoll
Chickell: the Wheatear
Chickstone: the Stonechat
Chippet Linnet: the Redpoll
Church Owl: the White Owl
Churn Owl: the Nightjar
Churr: the Dunlin
Cirl Bunting
Clack Goose, Clakes: the Bernicle Goose
Clatter Goose: the Brent Goose
Clee: the Red Shank
Cleff: the Tern
Clinker: the Avocet
Cloven-footed Gull: the Tern
Coal-and-candle-light: the Long-tailed Duck
Coal Goose: the Cormorant
Coaly Hood: the Bullfinch or Coal Mouse
Cob: the male Swan
Cob: the Great Black-backed Gull
Cobble: the Great Northern Diver
Cobbler's Awl: the Avocet
Cobweb: the Spotted Flycatcher
Cockandy: the Puffin
Cock-winder: the Wigeon
Coddy Moddy: the common Gull in its first year's plumage
Coldfinch: the Pied Flycatcher
Colk: the King Duck
Colin: a name in New Spain for Quail
Compressed: flattened vertically
Coot-foot: the Phalarope
Copperfinch: the Chaffinch
Corbie: the Raven
Corndrake: the Land-Rail
Cornish Crow, or Daw: the Chough
Cornwall Kae: the Chough
Coulterneb: the Puffin
Crake, Little
" Spotted
Crank bird: the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Craw: part of the stomach in birds
Cream-coloured Plover: Swiftfoot or Courser
Courser Gull: the Glaucous Gull
Creeper, Creep-tree, or Tree-creeper. These names are in some places
given to the Nuthatch
Crested Cormorant: the Shag
" Heron, Common or Grey
Cricket-bird: the Grasshopper Warbler
Cricket Teal: the Garganey
Crooked Bill: the Avocet
Crossbill: Common
Cuckoo's Leader or Mate: the Wryneck
Cuhnen: the ridge of the upper mandible
Cultrate: in the form of a billhook or pruning knife
Curlew-Jack: the Whimbrel
Curwillet: the Sanderling
Cushat: the Ring Dove
Cutty Wren: the Common Wren
Cygnet: the young Swan

Daker Hen: the Land-Rail
Danish Crow: the Hooded Crow
Darr, Blue: the Black Tern
Depressed: flattened horizontally
Deviling: the Swift
Dick Dunnock: the Hedge Sparrow
Dippearl: the Tern
Dirty Allen: the Skua
Dishwater: the Wagtail
Diving Pigeon: the Guillemot
Dobbler and Dobchick: the Lesser Grebe
Door Hawk and Dorr Hawk: the Nightjar.
Dorbie: the Dunlin
Doucker: a popular name for a Grebe or Diver
Doveky: the Black Guillemot
Dove-coloured Falcon: the Peregrine Falcon
Draine: the Missel Thrush
Duck Hawk: the Marsh Harrier
Ducker: a popular name for a Grebe or Diver
Dulwilly: the Ring Plover
Dunkir and Dunair: the Pochard
Dun Crow: the Hooded Crow
Dundiver: the female and young of the Merganser
Dung Hunter: the Skua
Dunnock: the Hedge Sparrow

Earl Duck: the Red-breasted Merganser
Easterling: the Smew
Ebb: the Bunting
Ecorcheur: the Shrike
Egret: a tuft of long narrow feathers found on the lower part of
the neck of the Herons. The name is also sometimes extended to
the two tufts of feathers, resembling ears or horns, in some of
the Owls
Elk: the Hooper Swan
Emmer or Ember Goose: the Great Northern Diver
Emmet Hunter: the Wryneck
Erne: the Eagle

Falk or Falc: the Razor-bill
Faller: the Hen Harrier
Fallow Chat, Fallow Finch, Fallow Lunch, or Fallow Smich: the Wheatear
Fanny Redtail: the Redstart
Fauvette: the Garden Warbler, also applied to others of the Warblers.
Feather-poke: i. e. "sack of feathers" is the Chiff-chaff, so called
from the materials and form of the nest
Felt and Feltyfare: the Fieldfare
Fiddler: the Common Sandpiper
Field Duck: the Little Bustard
Field Lark: the Skylark
Fiery Linnet: the Common Linnet
Finch, or Lapland Bunting
Fire-crested Regulus or Wren
Fire-tail: the Redstart
Flapper: a young Duck
Flopwing: the Lapwing
Flusher: the Butcher-bird
Foot: The foot of a bird consists of four, never less than three,
toes, with their claws, and the joint next above, called the
French Linnet: the Redpoll
" Magpie: the Red-backed Shrike
" Pie: the Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Gaggle: a flight of Wild Geese
Gairfowl: the Auk and the Razor-bill
Gallinule: the Moor Hen; this name is sometimes applied to the Crakes
Gallwell Drake: the Land Drake
Gannet: the Skua
Garden Ouzel: the Blackbird
" Warbler
Gardenian Heron: the young of the Night Heron
Gaunt: the Crested Grebe
Gidd: the Jack Snipe
Gillhowter: the White Owl
Gladdy: the Yellow Hammer
Glaucous Gull
Glead, Gled, or Glade: the Kite
Goat Owl and Goatsucker: the Nightjar
Golden-crested Regulus, Warbler or Wren
" Oriole or Thrush
" Plover
Gorcock: the Moor Cock
Gorsehatch: the Wheatear
Gorse-duck: the Corn Crake
Gorse Linnet: the Common Linnet
Goud Spink: the Goldfinch
Gouldring: the Yellow Hammer
Gourder: the Petrel
Gouk: the Cuckoo
Graduated: a term applied to the tail of a bird when the middle
feathers are longest and the outer ones are shorter in gradation
Greenwich Sandpiper: the Ruff
Grey: the Gadwall
Grey-bird: the Thrush
Grey-Duck: the Gadwall
" Coot-footed Tringa: the Phalarope
" Crow: the Hooded Crow
" Falcon: the Hen Harrier
" Heron: common or Crested Heron
" Lapwing, or Sandpiper: the Grey Plover
" Linnet: the Common Linnet
" Owl: the White Owl
" Partridge: the Common Partridge
" Shrike, Lesser: the Ash-coloured Shrike
" Skit: the Water-Rail
" -lag: Fen, Stubble, or Wild Goose
Grisette: the Whitethroat
Ground Lark: the Pipit and Bunting
" Wren: the Willow Warbler
Guldenhead: the Puffin
Gull-tormentor: the Skua
Gunner: the Great Northern Diver
Gurfel: the Razor-bill
Gustarda: the Bustard

Hackbolt: the Greater Shearwater
Hadji: the Swift
Hagdown: the Greater Shearwater
Haggard: the Peregrine Falcon
Hagister: the Magpie
Half-Curlew: the Whimbrel and Godwit
" -Duck: the Wigeon, Pochard, etc.
" -Snipe: the Jack Snipe
Harle: the Red-breasted Merganser
Harpy: the Marsh Harrier
Hawk Owl: this name is sometimes given to the Short-eared Owl
Hay-bird, or Hay-Tit: the Willow Warbler
Hay-Jack: the Garden Warbler and Whitethroat
Heather Bleater: the Snipe
Heath Throstle: the Ring Ouzel
Hebridal Sandpiper: the Turnstone
Heckimal: the Blue Tit
Hedge-Chicken: the Wheatear
" -Jug, the Long-tailed Tit
Hegrilskip: the Heron
Helegug: the Puffin
Hellejay: the Razor-bill
Hern, Hernshaw, Heronshaw: the Heron
Heronsewgh: the Heron
Herring-bar: perhaps a corruption of Herring-bird, Diver
Herring Gant: the Gannet
" Gull
Hew-hole: the Woodpecker
Hickwall: the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
High-hoo: the Woodpecker
Hiogga: the Razor-bill
Hissing Owl: the White Owl
Hoarse Gowk: the Snipe
Hoddy: the Crow
Holm Cock and Holm Screech: the Mistle Thrush
Hoop: the Bullfinch
Hornfinch: the Petrel
Horniwinks: the Lapwing
Horra: the Brent Goose
Horsefinch: the Chaffinch
Horsmatch: the Red-backed Shrike, the Wheatear and Whinchat
Howlet: the Brown Owl
Howster: the Knot
Huckmuck: the Long-tailed Tit
Hullat: the Owl

Icebird: the Little Auk
Imber, or Great Northern Diver
Isle of Wight Parson: the Cormorant
Iris (_plural_, Irides): the coloured circle of the eye surrounding
the pupil
Isaac: the Hedge Sparrow
Ivy Owl: the Barn Owl

Jack Curlew: the Whimbrel
Jack-nicker: the Goldfinch
" Saw: the Goosander
" Snipe
Jar Owl: the Night Owl
Jay, Jay Pie, or Jay Pyet
Jenny: the Wren
Jid or Judcock: the Jack Snipe

Kadder and Kae: the Jackdaw
Kamtschatka Tern: the Black Tern
Katabella: the Hen Harrier
Kate: the Hawfinch
Katogle: the Eagle Owl
Kiddaw: the Guillemot
King-Harry: the Goldfinch
Kip: the Tern
Kirktullock: the Shoveler
Kirmew and Kirmow: the Tern
Knee: a name often given, though inaccurately, to the junction of
the tarsus and tibia of a bird.

Lamhi or Lavy: the Guillemot
Land Curlew: the Great Plover
Lary: the Guillemot
Laughing Goose: the White-fronted Goose
Lavrock: the Skylark
Leg-bird: the Sedge Warbler
Lesser wing-coverts: the feathers which overlie the greater
wing-coverts, or those next the quills
Ling-bird: the Meadow Pipit
Linlet: a young Linnet
Lobefoot: the Phalarope
Long-tongue: the Wryneck
Loom or Loon: the Diver
Lore: the space between the beak and the eye
Lough Diver: the Smew
Lum, Lungy: the Guillemot
Lumme: the Diver
Lyre: the Manx Shearwater

Madge Howlet: the White Owl
Maglowan: a name for the Divers
Magpie Diver: the Smew
Malduck, or Malmarsh: the Fulmar
Mallemoke: the Fulmar
Mandibles: upper and under, the two portions of a bird's bill
Man-of-war bird: the Skua
Manx Shearwater: the Manx Petrel
Marketjew Crow: the Chough
Marrot: the Guillemot and Razor-bill
May-bird, or Mayfowl: the Whimbrel
Mavis: the Thrush
Meadow Crake, or Drake: the Gallinule
" Pipit, Titlark or Titling
Meggy-cut-throat: the Whitethroat
Merlie: the Blackbird
Mew or Mow: a Gull
Millithrum: the Long-tailed Tit
Minute Gallinule: the Little Crake
" Merganser: the young Smew
" Tringa: the Little Stint
Mire Snipe: the Snipe
Mistle Thrush, or Mistletoe Thrush
Mitty: the Petrel
Mock-bird: the Sedge Warbler
" Nightingale: the Blackcap and Garden Warbler
Monk: the Bullfinch
Moor Blackbird, or Ouzel: the Ring Ouzel
" Hen, or Water Hen
Morrot: the Guillemot
Moss-cheeper: the Meadow Pipit
Mother Carey's Chickens: the Petrels
Mountain Linnet: the Twite
" Ouzel: the Ring Ouzel
Mouse Hawk or Owl: the Hawk Owl
Mow: a Gull
Mud-plover: the Grey Plover
Muggy: the Whitethroat
Mullet: the Puffin
Mum-ruffin: the Long-tailed Tit
Murdering-bird: the Butcher-bird

Nape: the upper part of the neck behind
Neck-a-pecker and Nickle: the Woodpecker

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