Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/617

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of their beaks, one of these pretty nests. The unfortunate couple are obliged to recommence their task, and if this accident happens two or three times to the same household, it can easily be imagined that, discouraged and depressed by the advancing season, they hasten to build a shelter anyhow, only doing what is indispensable, and neglecting perfection.

The Art of Sewing among Birds.—There are birds which have succeeded in solving a remarkable difficulty. Sewing seems

PSM V44 D617 The tailor bird and its nest.jpg
Fig. 5.—The Tailor Bird and its Nest.

so ingenious an art that it must be reserved for the human species alone. Yet the tailor bird, the Orthotomus longicauda, and other species possess the elements of it. They place their nests in a large leaf which they prepare to this end. With their beaks they pierce two rows of holes along the two edges of the leaf; they then pass a stout thread from one side to the other alternately. With this leaf, at first flat, they form a horn in which they weave