Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/195

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Bird Life in July.

In the bird world July is a month of transition, for, as it runs its course, the feathered life of the woods relapses into its summer quiet and comparative inactivity. When the month comes in, many birds are still breeding and the majority are still in song; when it goes out, the breeding season is practically over and almost all voices are silent. In the third week of the month there is usually a marked cessation of song. Birds are no longer bubbling over with the nervous energy which inspired the full chorus of May; their strains, few and fragmentary, are scarcely heard above the drowsy hum of the bees in the limes. Fledglings are everywhere calling for food, but, on account of the full leanness of copse and thicket and the general similarity of nestling language, something like intuition is needed if we would credit each note to its unseen author.

Apart from their songs, the small birds, and especially the warblers, have a large variety of shorter notes, some used to call their mates or young, while another series is expressive of alarm or irritation as when watched or spied upon by prying naturalists.