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Cranefield, Frederic (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. I (September 1910/August 1911)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 1, no. 10: June, 1911,   pp. [1]-16 PDF (7.2 MB)

Page 3

five per cent of their food consists of 
seeds and weeds. 
   Prof. Beale, of the Biological Sur- 
 vey, has ascertained that one family, 
 that is, one species of the family of 
 sparrows, the tree sparrow, a littlb, 
 gray bird-many of you never saw it 
 -according to its distrihution ill tile 
 state of Iowa eats eight hundred and 
 seventy-five tons of weed seed an- 
 nually. It is not a migrant, it winters 
 over. There is the Song and the White 
 Throat and the Vesper and the Fox 
 and the Chippy and the Swamp and 
 the Tree and the Grasshopper and the 
 Field, and I have not enumerated 
 them all yet. 
 Gentlemen, isn't the best time to 
 kill a weed just before it grows, if 
 possible, to prevent its growth? Julst 
 think what a multitude of weeds 
 could Ile grown from eight hundred 
 and seventy-five tons of weed seed! 
 Supt. MieKerrow, Mr. Roberts and 
 everybody interested in sheep will tell 
 you that they are grand things to 
 have on the fario on account of the 
 weeds they destroy, and that is per- 
 feetly true, but I want to say that a 
 hundred mourning doves will destroy 
 more weeds than a hundred sheep- 
 1 want to say that a hundred quail 
 will destroy more weeds than a thou- 
 -and sheep. Take at mourning, dovx. 
 a1nd a fairly moderate breakfast would 
 he about three thousand pigeon grass 
 seed, and on a Christmas day a quail 
 o as killed that had made a very 
 pretty Christmas dinner, it had eatei, 
 a little over ten thousand pigweed 
 seeds for that Christmas dinner. Dlur- 
 iag the days of Audobon, quail sold 
 fir a penny apiece. These are sig- 
 n;icant facts-they come now from 
 the south to Chicago, you can  buy 
 them out of cold storage and they 
 il charge you five or six dollars a 
 d, 'en. Do you know what that means? 
 It means that we are slaughtering 
 tlim-exterminating them. 
 Oh, well, you say, the gun clubs 
 1i6 look after them. Yes, so they 
 wi'l, just as a nice tabby cat will look 
 after a good dish of luscious cream 
 if you leave the two together. 
 )o you know what we did with the 
 N senger pigeon? You have heard 
 a ,ood many references to them; 
sotle of the papers have been offer- 
ing one hundred dollars for a good 
specimen. I had a circular I re- 
ceived a week ago, which I intended 
to bring, and in that is an offer of 
seven hundred and twenty dollars for 
a single pair of undisturbed passenger 
pigeons which are found nesting in 
America. But they are gone, never to 
come back. 
Bird Protection front on EA,)) i0c 
   Now gentlemen, insteanI of legislat- 
 ing for proteetion, sometimes we leg- 
 islato against birds. The old state of 
 Pennsylvania did that in what i. 
 known :1s the "Scalp Act." They of- 
 fered a premiurn. of fiftv vents for 
 (every owl, hawk, mink aod weasel 
 killed in that state, and twenty-five 
 cents went to the man making out the 
 affidavit; seventy-live cents it cost. 
 Now, that was to protect the chicken 
 industry of Pennsylvania. and I want 
 to show you how it worked. In just 
 eighteen  months-before    the   law 
 could  1e repealed-1the tax payers 
 paid  out ninety thousand dollars. 
 Now, we will suppose that the hawks 
 and owls and minks and weasels in 
 the state killed five thousand chick- 
 ens anmually. There were compara- 
 tively few minks and weasels killedt. 
 inostly hawks and owls, and the owls 
 killed very few chickens, unless they 
 were allowed to roost in the trees, 
 and if you take care of your poultry 
 that way they are doing you a kind- 
 ness, because you are better off with- 
 out them. We will say they killed 
 five thousand annually, at twenty-five 
 cents apiece, which would be a good 
 price, because some of them    were 
 taken when they were young, that 
 wvouhl he $1,250 lost for the year. and 
 for the eighteen months, $1,875, so the 
 taxpayers of the state of Pennsyl- 
 vania paid out ninety thousand dol- 
 lars to save $1,875. 
 Now, it is estimated that a hawk 
 and an owl will kill at least a thou- 
 sand iice in a year, or their equiva- 
 lent in harmful insects, and at two 
 cents apiece that would he twenty 
 dollars, and I know there is no farmer 
 here who would care to board mice 
 for less than two cents a year. For 
 the eighteen  months, that would 
 make them worth to the state thirty 
 dollars. These creatures which were 
legislated against for eighteen months 
were undoubtedly worth thirty dol- 
lars to the state. 
   Now, you multiply that by the nurri- 
 ber of birds killed, 1Jz,571, and add 
 the ninety thousand dollars paid for 
 killing them; do you see where you 
 are, right up into the millions. So, 
 it did not pay to legislate against 
 them., did it? 
   Now I want to say it does not pay 
 very well to legislate for them. Of 
 course we have laws now protecting 
 them--let me see, haven't we laws 
 protecting  game in   Wisconsin? I 
 think I have heard something of the 
 kind. ,I believe   there  are  game 
 wardens in Wisconsin and you know 
 how thiey protect the game. Mere 
 legislation does not ainuint to any- 
 thillig; there must be education. 
   (entlemen, Shakespeare makes one 
 of his e-haracters say. "1 would love 
 but little if I e1(d1 tell how much." 
 Now, I am a bird lover and if I talk 
 thirty minutes or three hours, it 
 doesn't make very much difference, 
 eetiause I never would get through, 
 so call me down. Mr. Chairman, when 
 I exceed my time. 
       Thle ,tory of "Yorick." 
   Now, I want to talk a little about 
 hblejays (showing a dead bird). Do 
 you see that fellow? That is what is 
 left of him and his name was Yorick. 
 lIe was a fellow ,f infinite jest and( 
 excellent fanucy, aid a near neighbor 
 of mine. lie lived near my home in 
 the trees and I knew him passing well. 
 One Sunday morning a new hired 
 man of mine, like McGinty, dressed 
 in his best Sunday clothes, wearing a 
 clean shave, produced from somewhere 
 a concealed weapon, a shotgun, and 
 went out to serve the Lord hy shoot- 
 ing bluejays. I was on the scene of 
 action almost immediately, and yet 
 just too late, I said to him, 'Jake, I 
 hope you made a good shot, because 
 I have a presentiment that it is going 
 to cost you your job. What did you 
 kill him for?" Ile said, "Why, Doe. 
 don't you want me to kill bluejays?" 
 "No, sir, I don't want you to kill 
 bluejays," and I am afraid my man- 
 ner did not have the repose that 
 stantps the cast of a Vere de Vere, 
 for he began to get troubled a little 
 and hie said, "But dad always en- 
couraged us boys to kill bluejays, te- 
June, 1911 

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