Bird-Lore/Volume 01/No. 2/Editorial




Official Organ of the Audubon Societies

Vol. 1 April, 1899 No. 2


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The establishment of Bird-Lore has brought its editor in touch with many previously unknown friends, who, with the utmost kindness, have expressed their approval of the new publication and predicted for it a successful career. To thank all our correspondents individually has been out of the question, and we take this means, therefore, to assure them of our appreciation of their good wishes.

Doubtless they will be interested to know that within two weeks after the publication of Bird-Lore, the publishers had disposed of more copies than it was supposed they would sell in two months, while the demand for specimen copies was so large, that at the end of the same period our edition of 6,000 was nearly exhausted and we were obliged to issue a notice to the effect that the remaining copies would be delivered only to subscribers.

The Lacey-Hoar Bird Bill has met with a greatly to be regretted fate. With earnest advocates of bird protection in both the House and Senate, and with sufficient support to ensure the passage of any desirable measure, the prospects of securing needed legislation seemed to be excellent. Doubtless both Congressman Lacey′s and Senator Hoar′s bills would have passed if they had been presented separately, but making the latter an amendment to the former, created a series of contradictions that apparently could not be adjusted in conference, and, as a result, measures the intent of which the majority of both houses evidently favored, failed to become laws.

However, the terms of neither Mr. Hoar nor Mr. Lacey have expired, and it is to be hoped that before the next Congress convenes they will have prepared a bill in which their interests in birds will be harmoniously presented.

One of the most dangerous enemies threatening our birds to-day is the man who, under the mask of ‘science,’ collects birds and their eggs in wholly unwarranted numbers. He is dangerous not alone because of the actual destruction of life he causes, but because his excesses have brought into disrepute the work of the collector who, animated by the spirit of true science, and appreciating the value of life, takes only those specimens which he needs to assist him in his studies.

For this reason we feel it to be our duty to publicly protest against such wholly inexcusable nest-robbing as Mr. L. V. Brownell, of Nyack, N. Y. , confesses himself to be guilty of in the January issue of ‘The Osprey.’ In describing a visit to Pelican Island, Florida, he states that in “about an hour he had collected all the eggs he could conveniently handle, about 125 sets.”

This is an outrageous piece of bird-slaughter. It is especially to be deplored because Brown Pelican quills and back feathers are fast becoming fashionable, and, unless the species is protected, Florida will speedily lose one of its most characteristic and interesting birds. But how can we expect women, unfamiliar with the bird in nature, to aid in its protection, when people who have seen it in its haunts, and know how much it adds to Florida’s coast scenery, ruthlessly destroy it.