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predecessors. This prospect gives us a kind livelihood by an ingenious, and, we may of security for the continual propagation say, a scientific method of bird-catching, and extension of knowledge ; and that, for which is totally unknown in other parts of the future, no more great chasms of men Great Britain. The reason of this trade bereally eminent for knowledge will ever dis- ing confined to so small a compass arises figure that part of the chart of their lives from there being no considerable sale of which I cannot draw, or ever see drawn. singing birds, except in the metropolis : as What a figure must science make, advanc- the apparatus for this purpose is also heavy, ing as it now does, at the end of as many and at the same time must be carried on a centuries as have elapsed since the Augus- man's back, it prevents the bird-catchers tan age!"
going to more than three or four miles dis. BIPED, in zoology, an animal furnished tance. with only two legs. Men and birds are This method of bird-catching must lave bipeds. Apes occasionally walk on their been long practised, as it is brought to a hind legs, and seem to be of this tribe; but most systematical perfection, and is attendthat is not a natural position for them, and ed with a very considerable expense. The they rest upon all their legs, like other qua nets are a most ingenious piece of mechadrupeds. The jerboas are also of the latter nism; they are generally twelve yards and a description, jumping and leaping on their half long, and two yards and a half wide; hind legs, but resting on the fore legs like and no one, on bare inspection, would imawise.
gine, that a bird, who is só very quick in all BIQUADRATIC power, in algebra, the its motions, could be catched by the nets fourth power or squared square of a num flapping over each other, till he becomes an ber, as 16 is the biquadratic power of 2; eye-witness of the pullers seldom failing. for 2 X 2 is 4, and 4 X 4 is equal to 16. The wild birds fly, as the bird-catchers
BIQUADRATIC root of a number, is the term it, chiefly during the month of Octosquare root of its square root: thus the bi- ber, and part of September and November, quadratic root of 81 is 3; for the square root
as the Aight in March is much less consiof 81 is 9, and the square root of 9 is 3.
derable than that of Michaelmas. It is to BIQUADRATIC equution, an equation where
be noted also, that the several species of the unknown quantity of one of the terms
birds of flight do not make their appearance has four dimensions.
precisely at the same time, during the Any biquadratic equation may be con
months of September, October, and Noceived as generated by the multiplication of vember. The pippet, a small species of four simple equations. Thus, if x=a,
lark, for example, begins to fly about Mix=b, r=0, x=d, or x-a=0, r
chaelmas; and then the woodlark, linnet, b=0, x – 1=0, r-d=0; then will
goldfinch, chaffinch, greenfinch, and other * -axr--h x x -- CXX---d=0, be
birds of Alights succeed, all of which are not get a biquadratic equation. Or it may be
easily to be caught, or in any numbers at formed of two quadratic equations, as
any other time, and more particularly the
pippet and the woodlark. These birds, za torto x x +dxte=0); or, last
during the Michaelmas and March flights, ly, it may be produced from the multiplication of one cubic and one simple equation,
are chiefly on the wing from day-break to
noon, though there is afterwards a small as r - ax 2 + c xí + ax te=0. For
flight from two till night; but this howan account of the resolution of biqua. ever is so inconsiderable, that the birddratic equations see EQUATIONS.
catchers always take up their nets at doon. BIQUINTILE, an aspect of the planets, The bird-catcher generally carries with him when they are 144 degrees from each other. five or six linnets, of which more are caught BIRCH tree. See BETULA:
than any singing bird, two goldfinches, two BIRD, in zoology- See Aves.
greenfinches, one woodlark, ove redpoll, BIRD-catching, the art of taking birds or yellowhammer, titlark, and aberdevine, wild fowl, whether for food, for the plea- and perhaps a bullfinch; these are placed sure of their song, or for their destruction, at small distances from the nets, in little as pernicious to the husbandman, &c. The cages. He has besides what are called flur-, methods are by bird-lime, nets, decoys,&c. In birds, which are placed within the nets, are the suburbs of London are several weavers raised upon the flur, or moveable perch, and other tradesmen, who, during the and gently let down at the time the wild months of October and March, get their bird approaches them. These generally
consist of the linnet, the goldfinch, and the They are caught in a net-trap, the bottom greenfinch, which are secured to the fur by of which is surrounded with an iron ring; what is called a brace or bandage, a contriv- the net itself is rather larger than a cab ance which secures the birds without do- bage-net. When the trappers hear or see ing any injury to their plumage. When them, they strew some fresh mould under the bird-catcher hath laid his nets, he dis- the place, and bait the trap with a mealposes of his call-birds at proper intervals. worm from the baker's shop. Ten or a doIt must be owned that there is most mali zen nightingales have been thus cauglit in a cious joy in these call-birds, to bring the day. wild ones into the same state of captivity; The common way of taking larks, of which may likewise be observed with re which so many are used at our tables, is in gard to the decoy ducks. See Decoy. the night, with those nets which are called
Their sight and hearing infinitely excel trammels. These are usually made of 36 that of the bird-catcher. The instant that the yards in length, and about six yards over, wild birds are perceived, notice is given by with six ribs of packthread, which at the one to the rest of the call-birds, (as it is by the ends are put upon two poles of about 16 first hound that hits on the scent to the rest of feet long, and made lesser at each end. the pack) after which follows the same sort These are to be drawu over the ground by of tumultuous ecstasy and joy. The call- two men, and every five or six steps the birds, while the bird is at a distance, do not net is made to touch the ground, otherwise sing as a bird does in a chamber; they in- it will pass over the birds withont touching vite the wild ones by what the bird-catchers them, and they will escape. When they call short jerks, which, when the birds are are felt to fly up against the net, it is clap. good, may be heard at a great distance. ped down, and then all are safe that are unThe ascendency by this call or invitation is der it. The darkest nights are properest so great, that the wild bird is stopped in for this sport; and the net will not only its course of flight; and, if not already ac take larks, but all other birds that roost on quainted with the nets, lights boldly within the ground, among which are woodcocks, 20 yards of perhaps three or four bird- snipes, partridges, quails, fieldfares, and secatchers, on a spot which otherwise it veral others. would not have taken the least notice of. In the depth of winter, people sometimes Nay, it frequently happens, that if half a take great numbers of larks by nooses of flock only are caught, the remaining half horse hair. The method is this: take 100 will immediately afterwards light in the or 200 yards of packthread; fasten at every nets, and share the same fate; and should six inches a noose made of double horse only one bird escape, that bird will suffer hair; at every 20 yards the line is to be itself to be pulled at till it is caught; such pegged down to the ground, and so left a fascinating power have the call-birds.
ready to take them. The time to use this The nightingale is not a bird of flight, in is when the ground is covered with snow, the sense the bird-catchers use this term. and the larks are to be allured to it by Like the robin, wren, and many other sing some white oats scattered all the way among ing birds, it only moves from hedge to the nooses. They must be taken away as hedge, and does not take the periodical soon as three or four are hung, otherwise flights in October and March,
the rest will be frighted; but though the The persons who catch these birds, make others are scared away just where the use of small trap-nets, without call-birds ; sportsman comes, they will be feeding at and are considered as inferior in dignity to the other end of the line, and the sport may other bird-catchers, who will not rank with be thus continued for a long time. them. The arrival of the nightingale is ex Those caught in the day are taken in pected by the trappers in the neighbour- clap-nets of 15 yards length, and two and hood of London, the first week in April: at a half in breadth, and are enticed within the beginning, none but cocks are taken ; the reach by means of bits of looking-glass, but in a few days the hens make their ap- fixed in a piece of wood, and placed in the pearance, generally by themselves, though middle of the nets, which are put in a quick sometimes a few males come along with whirling motion by a string the larker comthem. The latter are distinguished from mands; he also makes use of a decoy lark. the females not only by their superior size, These nets are used only till the 14th of but by a great swelling of their vent, which November; for the larks will not dare, or commences on the first arrival of the hens. frolic in the air, except in fine sumy wea
ther; and, of course, cannot be inveigled precipice, and dart themselves some fainto the snare. When the weather grows thoms from it, with a cool eye survey the gloomy, the larker changes his engine, and places where the birds nestle, and again makes use of a trammel-net, twenty-seven shoot into their haunts. In some places or twenty-eight feet long, and five broad; the birds lodge in deep recesses: the fowler which is put on two poles, eighteen feet will alight there, disengage liimself from the long, and carried by men under each arm, rope, tix it to a stone, and at his leisure colwho pass over the fields, and quarter the lect the booty, fasten it to his girdle, and ground as a setting dog : when they hear or resume bis pendulous seat. At times he feel a lark hit the net, they drop it down, will again spring from the rock, and in that and so the birds are taken.
attitude, with a fowling net placed at the · But the most singular species of bird- end of a staff, catch the oid birds which are catching is on the Holm of Ness a vast flying to and from their retreats. When he rock severed from the isle of Ness by some
has finished his dreadful employment he unknown convulsion, and only about six- gives a signal to his friends above, who pull teen fathoms distant. It is of the same stu him up, and share the hard-earned profit. pendous height as the opposite precipice, The feathers are preserved for exportation; with a raging sea between ; so that the in- the flesh is partly eaten fresin; but the tervening chasm is of matchless horror, greater portion dried for winter's proviSome adventurous climber reaches the rock sion. in a boat, gains the height, and fastens seve The fowling from below has its share of ral stakes on the small portion of earth danger. The party goes on the expedition which is to be found on the top ; correspon- in a boat; and when it has attained the dent stakes are placed on the edge of the base of the precipice, one of the most darcorrespondent cliffs : a rope is fixed to the ing, having fastened a rope about his waist, stakes on both sides, along which a ma and furnished himself with a long pole with chine, called a cradle, is contrived to slide; an iron hook at one end, either climbs or is and, by the help of a small parallel cord, thrust up by his companions, who place a fastened in like manner, the adventurer pole under his brecch, to the next footing wafts himself over, and returns with his spot he can reach. He, by means of the booty.
rope, brings up one of the boat's crew; the The manner of bird-catching, in the Fe rest are drawn up in the same manner, and roe islands, is very strange and hazardous. each is furnished with his rope and fowlingNecessity compels mankind to wonderful staff. They continue their progress upattempts. The cliffs which contain the ob- wards, in the same manner, till they arrive jects of their search are often two hundred at the region of birds; and wander about fathoms in height, and are attempted from the face of the cliff in search of them. They above and below. In the first case, the then act in pairs; one fastens himself to the fowlers provide themselves with a rope end of his associate's rope, and in places eighty or one frundred fathoms in lengtl. where birds have nestled beneath his foot. The fowler fastens one end about his waist ing, he permits himself to be lowered down, and between his legs, recommends himself depending for his security on the strength to the protection of the Almighty, and is of bis companion, who has to haul bim up lowered down by six others, who place a again ; but it sometimes happens, that the piece of timber on the margin of the rock, person above is overpowered by the weight, to preserve the rope from wearing against and both inevitably perish. They Aling the the sharp edge. They have besides a small fowl into the boat, which attends their moline fastened to the body of the adventurer, tions, and receives the booty, They often by which he gives signals that they may pass seven or eight days in this tremendous lower or raise him, or shift him from place employment, and lodge in the crannies to place. The last operation is attended which they find in the face of the preciwith great danger, by the loosening of the pice. stones, which often fall on his head, and Birds are likewise caught iu traps of vawould infallibly destroy him, was he not pro- rious kinds; and frequently by nooses of tected by a strong thick cap; but even that hairs. In this way great numbers of wheat. is found unequal to save him against the cars are annually taken on the various downs weight of the larger fragments of rock. The of England, particularly in Sussex, Small dexterity of the fowlers is amazing; they holes are dug by the shepherds in the will place their feet against the front of the ground, in each of which is placed a noose.
Whevever a cloud obscures the sun, these Ether is its true solvent, dissolving it readily timid birds seek for shelter under a stone, without the assistance of heat. The soluor creep into any holes that present them- tion is of a deep green colour. The alkaselves; and they are thus ensnared by the lies do not combine with it ; the effect of nooses which fasten around their necks. the acids was not tried. These properties Woodcocks and snipes are taken likewise are sufficient to distinguish bird-lime from by nooses of horse bair placed along their every other vegetable principle. 2. Artipaths, in marshes and moist grounds. Wild ficial bird-lime is prepared from different ducks, in all their varieties, are taken in substances in different countries. The vast numbers every winter on our coasts, berries of the misletoe are said to have by means of decoys. See Decoy.
been formerly employed. They were Grouse and partridges are taken by pounded, boiled in water, and the hot water means of nets, either at night when resting poured off. At present bird-lime is usually on the ground, by observing where they prepared from the middle bark of the alight, and, when settled, drawing a net holly. The process followed in England over that part of the field, or, in the day, is as follows: the bark is boiled in water a very steady dog is used to point at them. seven or eight hours, till it becomes soft. It The attention of the birds being thus fixed, is then laid in quantities in the earth, co. two persons, drawing the two extremities vered with stones, and left to ferment or of a large net, pass it over them, and thus rot for a fortnight or three weeks. By this secure a whole pack of grouse, or covey of fermentation, it changes to a mucilaginous partridges at once.
consistency. It is then taken from the Pheasants are sometimes taken by night, pits, pounded in mortars to a paste, and by holding flaming sulphur under the trees well washed with river water. Its colour on which they are observed to perch, the is greenish, its flavour sour, and its consissuffocating effuvia of which makes them tence gluey, stringy, and tenacious. Its fall senseless.
smell is similar to that of lipseed oil. When Bird lime. The vegetable principle to spread on a glass plate and exposed to the which is given the name of bird-lime, was air and light it dries, becomes brown, loses first examined by Vauquelin, who found it its viscidity, and may be reduced to a powpossessed of properties different from every der ; but when water is added to it, the other. It was found collected on the epi- glutinous property returns. It reddens vedermis of a plant brought to Europe by Mi. getable blues. When gently heated it melts chaud, and called robinia viscosa, consti- and swells, and emits an odour like that of tuting a viscid substance, which made the animal oils. When heated on red hot coals, fingers adhere to the young twigs. From it burns with a lively flame, and gives ont a the late analysis of bird-lime by Bouillon la great deal of smoke, leaving a white ash, Gravge, it is obvious that it owes its pecn composed of carbonate of lime, alumina, liar properties to the presence of an analogous iron, sulphate, and muriate of potash. Weak substance, which indeed constitutes the es acids soften bird-lime, and partly dissolve sential part of that composition. Hence it; strong acids act with more violence, the reason of the name of bird-lime to the Sulphuric acid renders it black ; and when principle itself. 1. Natural bird-lime (or lime is added to the solution, acetic acid and that which exudes spontaneously from ammonia separate. Nitric acid cold has plants) possesses the following properties: little effect; but when assisted by heat it its colour is green; it has no sensible taste dissolves the bird-lime ; and the solution, or smell; is extremely a thesive ; softens by when evaporated, leaves behind it a hard the heat of the fingers, and sticks to them brittle mass. By treating this mass with with great obstinacy. When heated it nitric acid, a new solution may be obtained, melts, swells up, and burns with a consi- which by evaporation yields malic and derable flame, leaving a bulky charcoal be- oxalic acids, and a yellow matter which hind it. It does not dissolve in water ; al- possesses, several of the properties of wax. cohol has but little action on it, especially Cold muriatic acid does not act on birdwhen cold. By the assistance of heat it lime ; hot muriatic acid renders it black. dissolves a portion of it ; but in cooling, al Bird-lime, when treated with oxymuriatic lows the greatest part to precipitate again, acid, becomes white, and is divided into hard When exposed to the air it continues glu: compact masses, having unaltered bird-lime tinous, never becoming hard and brittle like in their centre. This white substance may the resins. It combines readily with oils. be palverişed; it is insolable in water ; does
not melt when heated ; and when treated the black is usually disposed of at Batavia with nitric acid, it neither becomes yellow, for about 20 dollars the same weight, where nor does it yield resin. Acetic acid softens it is chiefly converted into glue, of which it bird-linie, and dissolves a certain portion of makes a very superior kind. The diffeit. The liquid acquires a yellow colour. Its rence between the two has by some been taste is insipid. When carbonate of potash supposed to be owing to the mixture of the is dropped into this solution, no precipitate feathers of the birds with the viscous sub. falls. By evaporation it yields a resinouis stance of which the pests are formed ; and like substance. Some of the metallic oxides this they deduce from the experiment of are reduced when heated with bird-lime. steeping the black nests for a short time in Litharge combines with it, and forms a hot water, when they are said to become in kind of plaster. Alcohol of the specific a great degree white. When the natives gravity 0.817 dissolves bird-lime at a boiling prepare to take the nests, they enter the heat. On cooling, it lets fall a yellow mat caves with torches, and forming ladders acter similar to wax. The filtered liquid is cording to the usual mode, of a single bambitter, nauseous, and acid. Water precipi- boo notched, they ascend and pull dowu the tates a substance similar to resin. Sulphu- nests, which adhere in numbers together, ric ether dissolves bird-lime readily, and from the side and top of the rocks. They in great abundance. The solution is green say that the more frequently and regularly ish. When mixed with water, an oily sub the cave is stripped, the greater proportion stance separates, which has some resem of white nests they are sure to find, and blance to linseed oil. When evaporated, a that on this experience they often make a greasy substance is obtained, having a yel- practice of beating down and destroying low colour and the softness of wax.
the old nests in larger quantities than they Birds' nests, in cookery, the nest of a trouble themselves to carry away, in order small Indian swallow, very delicately tasted, that they may find white nests the next seaand frequently mixed among soups. On son in their room. The birds, during the the sea coasts of China, at certain seasons building time, are seen in large flocks on of the year, there are seen vast numbers of the beach, collecting in their bills the foam these birds; they leave the inland-country which is thrown up by the surf, of which at their breeding time, and come to build there is little doubt but they construct their in the rocks, and fashion their nests out of a nests, after it has undergone perhaps a prematter which they find on the shore, paration, from a commixture with their sawashed thither by the waves. The nature liva, or other secretion with which nature of this substance is scarcely yet ascertained. has provided them for that purpose. According to Kempfer, it is molluscæ or Birds, singing, are, the nightingale, sea-worms; according to M. le Poivre, blackbird, starling, thrush, linnet, lark, fish-spawn; according to Dalrymple, sea throstle, canary-bird, bulfinch, goldfinch,&c. weeds; and according to Linnæus, it is the See some very curious experiments and obanimal substance frequently found on the servations on the singing of birds, Phil. beach, which fishermen call blubbers or Trans. vol. Ixiii. part ii. No. 31. Their jellies. The nests are of a hemispheric fi. first sound is called chirp, which is a single gure, and of the size of a goose's egg, and sound repeated at short intervals ; the next in substance much resemble the ichthyo- call, which is a repetition of one and the colla or isinglass. The Chinese gather same note ; and the third sound is called rethese nests, and sell them to all parts of the cording, which a young bird continues to do world; they dissolve in broths, &c. and make for ten or eleven months, till he is able to a kind of jelly of a very delicious flavour. execute every part of his song ; and when These nests are found in great abundance he is perfect in his lesson, he is said to sing in the island of Sumatra, particularly about his song round. Their potes are no more Croe, near the south end of the island. Four innate than language in man; they all sing miles up the river of that name is a large in the same key. The honourable author, cave, where the birds build in vast num Daines Barrington, has attempted to rebers. The nests are distinguished into white duce their comparative merits to a scale ; and black; of which the first are by far and to explain how they first came to have more scarce and valuable, being found in particular notes. the proportion of one only to twenty-five. BIRDs, in heraldry, according to their se. The white sort sells in China at the rate of veral kinds, represent either the contem1000 to 1500 Spanish dollars the pecul; plative or active life. They are the em