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Page 167, line 13 from the bottom,
o the boat's side" read "close to the boat's side."
"Anna-Marie, love, up is the sun,
Anna-Marie, love, morn is begun,
Mists are dispersing, love, birds singing free,
THE melody of birds finds its way to the heart of every one; but the cause that prompts the outpourings that make copse, rock, and river, ring again on a fine spring morning is more a matter of doubt with ornithologists than the uninitiated in zoological mysteries might suppose. Much has been written on this subject, but upon a consideration of the different opinions, aided by our own observations, we are inclined to think that love and rivalry are the two great stimulants, though we do not mean to deny that a bird may sing from mere gaiety of heart arising from finding itself in the haunts dear to it, and in the midst of plenty of the food it likes; to give vent, in short, to the buoyancy of spirit arising from general pleasurable sensations.
In this country the season of reproduction is undoubtedly that
"The isle is full of pleasant noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight."
And about ten weeks have been mentioned as the period during which most of our wild birds are in song. That there are exceptions to this rule there is no doubt. We have heard a wild thrush, one of the sweetest singers of his tribe, sing far into September, but we watched narrowly and never could find that he had a mate. Then, again, we have the autumnal and even the winter notes of the robin long after the breeding season; and caged birds, if well fed and kept, will sing the greatest part of the year.