Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/33

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THE STORY OF THE CAHOW.
bignesse, that they are not to be knowne from these egges. The other birds egges are speckled and of a different colour."

In a letter written from the 'Summer Islands' Dec., 1614, by the Rev. Lewis Hughes, the following account of the cahow occurs:

"Here is also plenty of sea foules, at one time of the yea,re, as about the middle of October, Birds which we call cahouze and Pimlicoes come in. The Cahouze continue til the beginning of June in great abundance, they are bigger bodied than a Pigeon & of a very firm & good flesh. They are taken with ease if one do but sit downe in a darke night, and make a noise, there will more come to him then he shall be able to kill: some have told me that the have taken twelve or fourteen dozen in an hower. When the Cahouze time is out, other birds called noddies and sandie birds come in, and continue till the latter end of August."

This is the only account that gives the time of its arrival and departure.

The following extract is from Governor Butler's 'Historye,' written about 1619:

"For the cahowe (for so soundes his voice), it is a night bird, and all the daye long lies hidd in holes of the rocks, whence both themselves and their young are in great numbers extracted with ease, and prove (especially the young) so pleaseinge in a dish, as ashamed I am to tell, how many dosen of them have been devoured by some one of our northern stomacks, even at one only meale."

This is the only original statement that I find, among the early writings, that it lives in holes of rocks. It is possible, however, that it lived in all available holes, either in those made in the soil by the abundant land crabs or those found among rocks. It may not have made its own burrows, when other holes were available. Captain John Smith's account was compiled from those given above. He did not visit Bermuda.

There are several references to this bird in the local laws of Bermuda. Even so early as 1616 a law was passed restricting the taking of the bird and its eggs, because of the rapid decrease in its numbers.

It is thus referred to in Governor Butler's 'Historye.'

"In the same moneth he held his second generall Assize at St. George's, as irregularly as the first, wherin not any matter of note was handled, only a proclamation (or rather article, as it was then tearmed) was published (but overlate) against the spoyle and havock of the cahowes, and other birds, which already wer almost all of them killed and scared awaye very improvidently by fire, diggeinge, stoneinge, and all kinds of murtheringes."

Among the laws enacted by the Bermuda Company, 1621-32, was the following:

"The Governour, and other officers, shall take care for the preservation of the breed of Birds, by reserving to them those Ilands whereunto they resort."

This doubtless refers to the egg-birds as well as to the cahow. It seems to have been almost or quite forgotten for over 200 years. In