Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/290

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the black-bryony and the crimson egg-shaped droplets of guelder-rose and woody-nightshade remain untouched; honeysuckle berries appear to be little noticed and for sloes there is no demand. On the other hand how generally popular are the "haws" of the whitethorn and the "hips" of the dog-rose. The thrushes and blackbirds, having stripped the mountain ash, betake themselves to the elders, apparently because this crop, which comes next in season, is but a fleeting one. When the black, wine-juiced clusters are thinned, the haws remain as a stand-by for the greater part of the winter, with the possibility of recurrence to holly and yew berries in time of scarcity. If the winter is mild and open, so that worms and insects are obtainable throughout, the berries are neglected, but, if recourse is had to them, we think that haws are preferred to yew and holly berries, and with good reason, if one may judge from personal experiment. But the nuthatch when not pressed as to choice will take yew-berries, and the wood-pigeon will fill its crop with holly-berries when haws are equally available. But then nothing in the form of grain, green crops or berries appears to come amiss to this voracious feeder, which is even said to grub up and eat the tuber-like roots of the lesser celandine. After the bean-harvest, too, the scattered pods left upon the ground burst and afford grand entertainment to pigeons and rooks.